1 October 2021 News from the Company
State-of-the-art farm machinery is not only about reliability, high performance and cost-efficiency, it is also about sustainability. Bjoerne Drechsler, board member of Ekotechnika AG, shared his view on smart farming technologies.
Smart farming rests on global positioning systems such as GPS and GLONASS and dedicated farm management software based on the geographic information systems. The data collected via these systems is used by farmers for accurate assessment of the optimum sowing density, fertilizer and chemical application rate calculation, crop yield estimation and financial planning.
‘It is important to remember that smart farming has a positive impact on the environment due to the reduced use of chemicals’, says Bjoerne Drechsler. ‘Crop protecting products can and should be placed with more precision because each plant needs only a certain amount. In the future, our agricultural producers will be able to cut the use of chemicals down by 90%. In addition to preserving nature, smart farming will help to increase labor productivity and resource efficiency.’
This can be achieved by means of variable rate application of chemicals. Based on this technology, different areas in the field receive a different amount of chemicals. The distribution depends on the expected yield, soil fertility and some other factors such as terrain, soil composition, electrical conductivity and nutrient and moisture content.
‘As per today, quite few farmers use variable rate application at their operations’, continues Bjoerne Drechsler. ‘On conventional farms, chemicals are often applied to the plants that do not need any treatment. To avoid this, we are currently testing the variable rate technology at EkoNivaAgro, Voronezh region. A project team is responsible for studying smart farming and putting it into practice. Our specialists analyze the fields via satellite systems and drones to determine the weedy areas which are to be treated with chemicals. This allowed us to reduce the use of fungicides by 30% without affecting the yield.’
Intellectual machinery is the basis of smart farming. Ekotechnika Group offers the latest solutions and unique self-propelled machines for efficient field cultivation.
‘The John Deere R4040i and R4050i self-propelled sprayers are our flagships’, states Bjoerne Drechsler. ‘These high-tech machines are designed to deliver maximum performance. Fitted with precision farming software, the smart sprayers remember the treated areas and automatically switch off the spraying sections when passing over them thus reducing the amount of chemicals penetrating into the soil.’
This means fewer chemicals penetrate the soil, and pesticide drift is also minimized. By using smart farming solutions, agricultural producers can minimize costs, increase labor productivity and make efficient use of the natural resources they use. This has a direct positive impact on farm balance sheets and helps to use raw materials sustainably and address nutritional and environmental issues.