The EyeQ system has undergone rigorous testing in order to ensure its functionality and effectiveness. Agreements were made with farmers so that their fields could be used in real-world pilots. Twenty acres in four different locations were used. The fields were divided in half and cereal crops sewn using identical cultivation techniques, except for fertilizer application. That way, yield and quality variation between each half of the field would only be the direct result of the fertilization process.
The Laboratory of Farm Mechanization of University of Thessaly, played a central role in these pilots. They supervised the research conducted on the pilot fields
By soil analysis, data mapping and so on, they were able to determine and verify the performance of the EyeQ system.
This is an example of the ‘nutrition’ status of a wheat field used in the pilots. Fertilizer was applied using the EyeQ system (Variable Rate Fertilizer Application) in the left half of the highlighted field, while it was applied in the traditional way on the right. The colour difference denotes a more luxuriant crop – proving EyeQ’s effectiveness at supplying the right amount of fertilizer based on the actual demands of the crop as calculated in real-time.
The difference between the wheat field fertilized using the EyeQ system and that of fertilizer spread the traditional way can easily be seen on the ground too. After harvest, the economic benefits of the better crop yield were also analysed by the University of Thessaly. Collating all the data and taking pricing into account, they concluded the total financial gain to be about 170 euro per hectare more than the traditionally cultivated area. This derives from a 13% increase in yield and a 15% decrease in the amount of fertilizer used. Importantly, the analysis showed a 15% increase in protein levels of the crop fertilized with the EyeQ system, giving it a much higher market value.