Precision Farming Shall Assist to Reduce Costs and Increase Crop Yields

11 December 2014

General Director of Bizon brought the need to introduce precision farming in agriculture to notice of the Government at a session of Presidium of the Presidential Council on Modernization of Economy and Innovative Development of Russia, chaired by Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister of Russia.

Precision Farming Shall Assist to Reduce Costs and Increase Crop Yields

We apply precision farming technologies on the 12,000 hectares of own pilot farming companies, — said Sergey Sukhovenko, General Director, Bizon. — We have thoroughly studied the global experience and adapted it to our conditions. Every combine harvester was equipped with devices to readout crop yield and digital generators of field map. Each field was provided with an agrochemical survey giving the level of phosphorus, nitrogen, potassium, moisture, and other parameters. Today we selectively apply fertilizers, using not the average norms, but the actually needed amounts.

Moreover we prepared the soil fertility analysis through the last seven years. We also obtained a very interesting result. We saw the dynamics of soil fertility at every plot of the field: here the fertility levels up, and here it deteriorates. Here is one example: in 2012 the soil fertility growth with a bounce. We studied the flow process charts, and it turned out that one year before we have applied a compound fertilizer. The point is that we have applied 120 kg of the fertilizer on one field, and 70 kg on the other, but the bounce growth was exactly the same. Resulting overspend totaled 50 kg. And if we had made the agrochemical analysis, we would have seen that the norm is 70 kg, and would not have wasted the money.

Introduction of precise farming technologies allows to save on mineral fertilizers and increase the crop yields. The total economic impact results in approximately 30 — 35%. What are the benefits of this system for us? First, it is relatively low-cost; second, it is based on the scientific resources, which we possess; third, we can reach fast effect — after 2 — 3 years the results shall become visible.

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