NL in US Media: "This Tiny Country Feeds the World"

The Netherlands has become an agricultural giant by showing what the future of farming could look like.

In a potato field near the Netherlands' border with Belgium, Dutch farmer Jacob van den Borne is seated in the cabin of an immense harvester before an instrument panel worthy of the starship Enterprise.

From his perch 10 feet above the ground, he's monitoring two drones - a driverless tractor roaming the fields and a quadcopter in the air - that provide detailed readings on soil chemistry, water content, nutrients, and growth, measuring the progress of every plant down to the individual potato. Van den Borne's production numbers testify to the power of this "precision farming", as it's known. The global average yield of potatoes per acre is about nine tons. Van den Borne's fields reliable produce more than 20.

Read the full story by Frank Viviano/photographs by Luca Locatelli, published in the September 2017 issue of National Geographic magazine.