Virus and bacterial diseases are one of the biggest problems in the cultivation of seed potatoes. Once found in the field, virus and bacteria diseased potatoes lead to rejections of the tubers resulting in a big financial loss. The estimated direct damage caused by diseases for seed potato growers in the Netherlands annually counts up to approximately € 12 million. Currently detection of diseased seed potatoes is done by human selectors, with an annual labor cost of approximately € 6.5 million. Much damage occurs when the disease is not detected in an early stage, which is often the case, when the bacterial infection is latent present, showing no visible symptoms. Therefore there is a need for fast and adequate disease detection, which also detects diseased plants without visible symptoms to human observers. Early detection of diseased plants with modern vision techniques can significantly reduce costs.
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