Ukrainian agtech start-up helps farmers increase margins

29-12-2020 | |
Ukrainian agtech start-up helps farmers increase margins
Ukrainian agtech start-up helps farmers increase margins

Digital Field helps farmers reduce production costs through the use of precise planting tools. Researchers are designing comprehensive production approaches using innovative equipment, which is offered to Ukrainian farmers.

The Ukrainian technological start-up Digital Field has presented a state-of-the-art technology allowing the country’s farmers to boost revenue from crop production.

Reduce production costs

Digital Field is a research project launched in 2020 to help farmers reduce production costs through the use of precise planting tools, said Yaroslav Boyko, spokesperson for AgriLab Company, one of those involved in the project.

In 2020, Digital Field designed a technology, which secured $ 352 per ha of additional profit for farmers producing sunflower seeds. This season Digital Field has been working with 2.5 ha of sunflower seed and 5.1 ha of corn. In 2021, the project will be expanded to a much larger scale.

“Agro-diagnostics gave us an understanding of which fertilisers are needed and in what quantity, which hybrids are optimal, which soil features should be taken into account when choosing a plant protection system,” Boyko said. He adds that this year’s production strategy took into account the unfavourable weather conditions.

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The Agrimatco Jacto Uniport 3030 sprayer allows for per-nozzle application. - Photo: Digital Field

The Agrimatco Jacto Uniport 3030 sprayer allows for per-nozzle application. – Photo: Digital Field

Precision seeding

“For sowing, we used a precision seeding technology. Its main trick is the ability to automatically adjust the downforce of the seeder sections, thereby maintaining the seeding depth, as well as to ensure perfect singulation,” Boyko said.

This system automatically selected the best operational parameters, taking into account the micro-relief, processing quality, which ultimately secured the uniformity of seedlings and equal conditions for development of all plants.

Agrimatco Jacto Uniport 3030 sprayer

“Our [research] field is characterised by a complex micro-relief, which increases the risks of herbicide washout when a large amount of precipitation falls in a short period of time. We used the Agrimatco Jacto Uniport 3030 sprayer, which allows for per-nozzle application, which means that in the required areas, the nozzles are turned off, avoiding over-application of crop protection product,” Boyko explained.

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To treat plants with fungicides, a DJI Agris T16 spraying drone was used. - Photo: Digital Field

To treat plants with fungicides, a DJI Agris T16 spraying drone was used. – Photo: Digital Field

DJI Agris T16 spraying drone

To treat plants with fungicides, a DJI Agris T16 spraying drone was used. “This method is more environmentally friendly and avoids mechanical damage to crops. Such technological solutions for plant protection allowed [farmers] to save from $ 3.5 to 9 $ / ha,” Boyko said.

When working with the DJI Agras T16 drone the researchers experienced almost no difficulties. “On the sunflower seed field we have been experimenting, spraying not only fungicides, but also micro-fertilisers like zinc and borium, and performing selective desiccation.”

Vorotnikov
Vladislav Vorotnikov Correspondent for Russia