Fashion-Farmer 2018 was dedicated to effective cost management in agribusiness. This year, the field trade show in Vysokoye, Liski district, Voronezh oblast, gathered around 400 visitors. The unique field event was jointly hosted by EkoNiva-Chernozemye and EkoNiva-Semena, who had gone to great lengths to create a true fest of agricultural knowledge for farmers from all over the country.
The non-exhaustive list of regions participating in the large-scale holiday included Voronezh, Krasnoyarsk, Yoshkar-Ola, Saransk, Saratov, Ryazan, Lipetsk, Penza, Belgorod, Vladikavkaz, Kursk, Tambov, Orenburg and even Georgia. Growers came, first and foremost, to exchange experience in agriculture, find out about the latest developments, take part in modern machinery demo shows, meet and find common ground with partners. The layout of the trade show featured several stations representing major farming systems. And these were not just demonstration areas, but rather comprehensive studies, including cost-effectiveness justification and analysis of economics for the different crop production systems. The new format event was no doubt highly popular with the attendees. The very subject — Effective cost management — added to the topicality.
‘We set out to back up/make the case for the recommended machinery choice in the context of no-till, mini-till and conventional farming system for our clients’, says Ivan Vorobyev, Executive Director of EkoNiva-Chernozemye. ‘The findings of our 3-year analysis indicate that the operating costs in agriculture are on a steady rise due to inflation. In comparison, the costs for machinery purchase - if it is reliable and durable - remain fairly constant.’
Fashion-Farmer offered visitors a rich programme. Thanks to the carefully considered setup, each attendee was able to take away maximum of useful information. At the demo plots, the farmers were shown samples representing the best global genetics of such crops as soybeans, peas, lentils, maize, oats, winter and spring wheat, learned about the versatility of the varieties when grown in different farming systems. It was the quality of the seeds, the caring and the skills of employees that appealed to the clients.
‘We grow cereals, pulses and row crops. EkoNiva-Semena has proven to be of great help to us, as it supplies high-quality products, provides extension and advisory services, and, of course, offers generous discounts’, says Igor Epiphanov, Director General of Remtekhpred (Saratov oblast). ‘Whenever we buy seeds from EkoNiva, we can always look forward to a rich crop in autumn.’
Farming systems economics is an important and topical subject for modern farmers. The plant breeding and early generation seed production centre of EkoNiva-Semena is actively perfecting components of different farming systems which facilitate efficient and less costly crop production. For example, the centre is developing highly adaptable varieties of soft winter wheat, exceeding the ever-growing expectations of farmers.
‘To date, we have created 3 soft winter wheat varieties and submitted them for state trials’, says Vitaliy Voloshchenko, Director of Plant Breeding and Early Generation Seed Production Centre. ‘We hope that the varieties will pass the testing and take their rightful place in the fields of Central Black Soil region.’
The farmers will undoubtedly benefit from the solutions, since, according to the attendees of the trade fair, quality seed material is scarce, and reliable companies are worth their weight in gold now.
‘It was through trial and error that we discovered EkoNiva-Semena, which turned out to be a well-established company in the agricultural sector’, says Aleksey Chudokvasov, Head of Latkin farming enterprise (Nizhniy Novgorod oblast). ‘That’s why we highly recommend Ekoniva to our friends and partners as a supplier of both seeds and machinery.’
Today, EkoNiva is a recognised expert in the agricultural market of not only this country, but also Europe. The company actively puts to test flagship farming machinery produced by the leading global manufacturers in its own fields and farms, produces high-quality seed material, develops and customises existing navigation systems. Furthermore, once EkoNiva decides on a certain product for its own operations, they gladly bring their clients and partners up to speed on the acquired know-how. The latest trend is the use of precision farming systems as one of the key elements of efficient cost management in agribusiness.
‘Precision farming systems in agronomy are what multiplication tables are in maths’, says Ivan Vorobyov. ‘They give us an insight into this complex science, they are a must-have today and a key to effective farming.’
Stefan Duerr, President of EkoNiva Group, believes that precision farming is the future. It offers the possibility to save around 20-30 per cent of seeds, pesticides, and fertilisers, while significantly increasing the yield. The global positioning systems (GPS, GLONASS) enable growers to evaluate heterogeneity within one field. The data collected with their help is used in the drawing up of the sowing plan, calculation of the fertilizer and crop protection agent application rates, more accurate yield predictions and financial planning.
‘The technology makes substantial cost saving possible. Currently, the precision farming project is being implemented at Left-Bank Operation of EkoNivaAgro’, says Stefan Duerr. ‘In a year or two, we are planning to expand it into all our farming operations without exception. Presented here today was Tempo, a precision drill, manufactured by Vaderstad. We have been using it since last year, and I know for a fact that it is highly efficient when it comes to precision sowing of row crops (sunflower, soybeans, maize). Moving along the field at a decent speed, it maintains a high sowing precision.’
Effective agribusiness is impossible without modern high-performance machinery. This year’s Fashion-Farmer once again featured both novel and proven farming machines.
‘A novelty — JCB 541-70 Agri Pro — is showcased here today’, says Svetlana Petrova, Deputy Director General of JCB Russia. ‘It is the world’s first and only telehandler with the DualTech VT hybrid transmission, which combines the benefits of the powershift and the hydrostatic transmissions. The machine is suitable for a wide range of agricultural applications.’
Another novelty displayed at the trade show was the new John Deere T670i combine harvester.
‘The reliable feeding system eliminates deformation or damage of the kernels and the straw’, says Roman Logunov, Sales Manager of EkoNiva-Chernozemye. ‘The combine harvester features a powerful 335 Kw (455 HP) engine with exceptional fuel efficiency. The 11,000 l grain tank unloads at 125 l/s.’
The highlight of Fashion-Farmer was a machinery demo show, whose goal was to give the farmers a better insight into the principles of operation of the novelties and enable them to make the right choice.
‘EkoNiva-Chernozemye has a competitive edge due to good and prompt service, custom-tailored approach, special offers and various farming machinery purchase schemes’, says Sergey Klimentovskiy, Chief Engineer of Agroservis machinery fleet (Voronezh oblast). ‘Having bought machinery from EkoNiva-Chernozemye once, it is very hard to stop, and that is exactly why we are here today.’
The guests were impressed with the extensive programme of the Field Day: the delicious dairy products from the Academy of Dairy Sciences — ice-cream being a definite smash hit - helped to breeze through the summer heat, and the varied and interesting concert programme got the attendees in the festive mood.
By Tatyana IGNATENKO, Viktor BARGOTIN