A festival of communication and new knowledge is always to farmers’ advantage. For the first time, International EkoNiva-Semena Field Day 2019 in Siberia has been held on the vast expanses of Sibirskaya Niva farm located in Maslyanino village, Novosibirsk oblast. About one hundred and fifty growers from Novosibirsk and Kemerovo oblasts, Altai and Krasnoyarsk areas gathered to see various innovations showcased at the event. A large delegation representing Kazakhstan paid a visit as well. The far-reaching agricultural festival was organised by EkoNiva-Semena with the participation of EkoNivaSibir and BASF.
Siberia has always been renowned for its hospitality. Here they know how to welcome guests and arrange events well: the Field Day at Sibirskaya Niva spoke volumes. At the main venue of the festivities, the visitors could meet their colleagues, broaden relevant experience and become familiar with the latest scientific attainments in the field of seed breeding and growing. Moreover, the farmers could get a fix on how much their planned purchases would knock them back and talk shop in an informal atmosphere.
‘The Field Day at Sibirskaya Niva is a demonstration of our achievements, an opportunity to exchange valuable experience and to take an individual approach to each client’, says Willi Drews, Doctor of Agronomy and EkoNiva Advisor. ‘This year we’ve decided to put more focus on winter crops. In Siberia, the winter wheat Skipetr nearly always pleases us with its high yield. This variety has high winter hardiness and is well-known for good tillering. Skipetr is resistant to lodging under the conditions of low and medium fertility.’
During the Field Day in Maslyanino, EkoNiva-Semena presented trial crops of new varieties. It is worth mentioning that this range included the novelties bred by the company: the winter wheat varieties Cepheus and Sheratan, the leaders of the European selection – the spring wheat varieties Liсamero, Calixo and Triso, the spring barley varieties Paustian, Calcule, Margret, Laurikka, Explorer, as well as the globally famous red lentil bred in Canada. The qualitative parameters of the offered cultivars are particularly suitable for the Siberian climate.
No doubt the commercial seed production fields could not be left out in the cold during the Field Day at Sibirskaya Niva. The participants saw the presentation of the winter wheat varieties Skipetr and Zimushka and the spring wheat Liсamero, the seed stands of the Canadian alfalfa Dakota. From these very fields the seeds will be collected and sown in 2020 and in the following years.
‘This time, the spring wheat Licamero scored a top rating among the festival guests’, continues Willi Drews. ‘We were pleasantly impressed by a huge field of commercial seed production crops of this cultivar. Right away, many partners expressed their wish to make a supply contract for the seeds. And it came as no surprise – Licamero is an intensive crop variety with a unique combination of earliness of ripening and high yield.’
The breeding farm Irmen located in Ordynskoe district, Novosibirsk oblast, have appreciated all the advantages of Licamero. Buying the seeds, they knew the result would be good, but it even went beyond their expectations.
‘Last year, Licamero cropped really well – 7.3 tonnes per hectare’, says Maksim Albert, Irmen Chief Agronomist. ‘The average yield of any other wheat variety amounts to 5.3 tonnes per hectare.’
The land bank of Irmen engaged in crop farming and animal breeding is 21 thousand hectares. Mostly seeds sown here come from EkoNiva. The company supplies the pea Jackpot and the barley varieties Explorer, Paustian, Margret and Calcule. This year, the farming enterprise has opted to buy the spring wheat Calixo. We are sure that its harvest will be bumper as well as the one of other varieties and crops purchased from EkoNiva-Semena.
‘We do like the oat Max’, continues Maksim Albert. ‘The harvest reaped in our fields is 5.1 tonnes per hectare, while the oat harvest right in the adjacent field does not exceed 4 tonnes per hectare under the same conditions.’
As part of the event, BASF experts told the farmers about the applied plant treatment and protection schemes suitable for the agroclimatic conditions of the Siberian region.
It is no secret for every farmer that the correct and timely fertilisation is a formula for a good harvest. Mineral fertilisers and agrochemicals are at the forefront of agricultural practices. During the Field Day at Sibirskaya Niva, EkoNivaSibir presented a special machine for applying liquid fertilisers – the Duport Liquiliser. The participants were put onto the effectiveness of fertiliser precision placement and injection into soil.
‘This method allows us to ensure good development of the root system and a strong boost of the plant’s green mass’, says Aleksandr Burmak, EkoNivaSibir Machinery Sales Representative. ‘High performance is one of the important features of the unit. The capacity of the fertiliser tank is 8,500 litres, and the operating width is 13.5 metres. The Duport Liquiliser is distinguished by reliability: all assembly units and elements are made of stainless steel. What is more, the machine can apply fertilisers to seedlings.
The use of the Liquiliser is a revolutionary method, although quite simple. The machine design implies a sturdy frame and wheels with long spokes, through which the liquid is injected to the required depth. The first Duport machines have already started operating in the Siberian region and given a good account of themselves positively influencing the crop. Thanks to the Field Day, some farmers who arrived from Kazakhstan, Altai area and Novosibirsk oblast got the chance to take a closer look at the Liquiliser. Negotiations on acquisition and dispatch of the units are being conducted.
In the hospitable fields of Sibirskaya Niva, farmers managed not only to gain useful knowledge, share experience with colleagues and partners, but also to have fun. A musical group, an illusionist and a DJ took part in the show programme to entertain the visitors of the festival. Everyone could make a photo fridge magnet as a souvenir, sample a branded cocktail and participate in a win-win lottery. The organisers pleased their guests with various prizes: thermos flasks and umbrellas, power banks and soft rugs and, of course, discount certificates for the purchase of EkoNiva's seeds.
‘This year, the organisation of the Field Day in Siberia featuring various agricultural innovations has become a pilot project for us’, says Yevgeniy Kucheryavenko, Deputy Executive Director of EkoNiva-Semena. ‘That is settled, we will hold such events on a regular basis. To find an individual approach to each client is of a great importance to us. We always strive to envisage what will be in demand tomorrow – it’s the main goal we work towards. We are always glad to see current and potential partners at our demonstrations and events.’
By Tatyana IGNATENKO