«Fashion Farmer 2021»: digital agriculture is the future

Press-centre / News,

Fashion Farmer 2021 held at the beginning of the summer gave farmers an energy boost and inspired many fresh ideas.

Launch of the decade

The event was marked with a much-anticipated launch of EkoNiva-Chernozemye service centre in Dobrino village, which was also the venue of Fashion Farmer this year.

Dobrino service centre is the largest in the region. It occupies five hectares, including over 1,000 m2 of storage capacity for 730,000 units of spare parts of 80 brands. The premises comprise 12 fully equipped repair workshops. The rapid response team arrives at a client’s site within less than 90 minutes after the request is submitted.

‘The service centre in Dobrino will host seminars, conferences and demo shows’, says Sergey Storozhev, EkoNiva-Chernozemye Executive Director. ‘The workshop for machine nodes and assemblies as well as the paint-spraying booth are already fully operational. In 2022, a soil chemical laboratory will open.’

Besides, the new service centre offers around 40 working places.

At the forefront of global trends

This year, the focus of the event is on the digital transformation as a tool of agribusiness management. EkoNiva was one of the first companies to employ and offer farmers state-of-the-art solutions such as precision and smart farming, the John Deere AutoTrac and iTech PRO automated steering systems, the JDLink and LiveLink telematics allowing to monitor machine location remotely, control their performance as well as node and assembly condition, adjust the workload, send programmed tasks directly to the operator, schedule maintenance activities, keep record of the operations in the field. Agronomy also takes advantage of innovations. Digital solutions make it possible to analyse fertility zones, identify problem areas and carry out additional tests. Fashion Farmer 2021 visitors observed cutting-edge machines perform smart functions and operations at the demo show.

Flagships of the sowing campaign

The John Deere DB55 ExactEmerge is a flagship seeding machine manufactured in the USA.

‘It operates at a speed of 16 km/h with a 98-99 per cent uniform seed distribution’, says Eduard Ivanov, Sales Department Manager, EkoNiva-Chernozemye. ‘The seed placement is perfect even at a high speed.’

Swedish manufacturers keep their high standards. This year, over 40 Vaderstad Tempo seed drills equipped with the PowerShoot technology have been sold in the region. The unit uses air pressure to shoot seeds into soil with pinpoint accuracy. System vibrations or slopes do not affect the metering precision even when sowing is performed at a speed twice as high as that of any other machine. The model supports prescription maps for variable rate seeding.

Intelligent approach to future harvest

In accordance with the latest standards, the John Deere M4040 self-propelled sprayer offers the most efficient crop protection. The machine with a carbon fibre boom comes equipped with the JDLink monitoring system, the Section Control option for fertilizer and plant protection agent distribution as well as the ExactApply intelligent nozzle control system.

'Thanks to improved nutrient supply and protection of areas with high soil fertility potential, farmers get higher yields. That’s what variable application of plant protection agents is for’, comments Willi Drews, Ph.D. in Agronomy, EkoNiva’s consultant. ‘The John Deere M4040 is a precise and efficient tool for handling this issue.’

The model is equipped with the new 4600 display with the BoomTrac auto boom height sensing system. The documentation programme sends data about the working process to the farm manager and the chief agronomist during crop treatment.

The ExactApply system automatically controls the nozzles. When the unit only picks up speed at the edge of the field, one nozzle from each pair is active. When a speed of 12-14 km/h is reached, the second one is switched on. The nozzles shut down section-wise rather than along the whole boom. This option helps to use plant protection agents moderately.

Smart harvesting with John Deere

Among other models, Fashion Farmer 2021 featured the John Deere S760 representing the combine harvester line-up. 'The machine is equipped with a 9-litre engine generating 330 hp. The discharge speed with a 10,600-litre grain tank is 125 l/s,’ says Dmitriy Tokmakov, EkoNiva-Chernozemye Sales Representative. ‘The synchronisation function allows the operator to automatically control the speed and the tractor-trailer combination path with immaculate precision, which facilitates harvesting and cuts costs.’ The integrated ICA2 adjustment system analyses the combine settings and adapts them to the working conditions, which means that the operator does not need to change parameters manually.

Digital sowing: trials and achievements

The event attendees were also demonstrated the digital sowing with an example of several crops.

‘With the use of satellite maps this year, we’ve sown an area of 7,000 hectares at a variable rate’, says Artyom Novikov, Smart Farming Department Manager, EkoNivaTekhnika-Holding.

‘The trial with the maize was done at a variable rate from 60,000 to 100,000 seeds per hectare depending on the yields in different zones. The trials were carried out in six fields with similar soil preparation techniques used. As a result, almost in all of them, the seed rate of 60,000 seeds per hectare produced higher yields than the rate of 80,000 or 100,000. We saved around 25% of seeds as compared to the volume standardly sown on the farm and reaped 6% more crop.’

In-house plant breeding programme

EkoNiva-Semena presented its wide seed portfolio at Fashion Farmer. ‘This season, the situation with winter crops is complicated in the Black Soil Region. In places, up to 80 per cent of the crop was ruined by recurring frosts’, comments Denis Pshenichnykh, Sales Representative of EkoNiva-Semena. ‘Farmers had to sow additionally or resow crops, and we did our best to provide them with high-quality seeds.’ EkoNiva-Semena portfolio comprises 73 varieties – spring and winter crops, fodder grasses. This year, the company’s target is to sell up to 80 thousand tonnes of seeds. One of the new varieties available is Cepheus, in-house bred winter wheat. Last year, it was listed in the State Register. The variety is distinguished by high yielding capacity, plasticity and winter hardiness. The latest plant breeding achievements of the company also include EN Albireo and EN Taygeta, already registered in the Central Black Soil Region.

Breakthrough in cheese-making

Two new products are now manufactured under EKONIVA brand – Shchuchye and Kolybelka semi-hard cheeses. Duerr hard cheese will hit the shelves of supermarkets in the nearest future, however, Fashion Farmer 2021 visitors were able to enjoy the preliminary tasting.

‘We love EKONIVA dairy products and their natural ingredients make us confident that we can give it to our children’, says Elena Taldykina, a guest. ‘If we cannot find EKONIVA ice cream in a shop, we don’t even look at other brands, but go and search for our favourite one.’

Cutting-edge technologies enable EkoNiva to produce A grade cheese milk, which is selected on the farms by 29 parameters.

It is just the beginning!

Year after year, Fashion Farmer programme is extending and complementing the traditional regional Field Days with exclusive demo shows and seminars, while the number of participants is also growing.

‘For over ten years, I have been visiting EkoNiva events’, shares Vasiliy Skripchenkov, Head of Rezon farming enterprise, Nizhnedevitsk district, Voronezh oblast. ‘I would like to thank the organisers for putting emphasis on smart farming and digital transformation of the production this time. On our farm this year, we started applying variable rate seeding, and now we are learning more about variable rate chemical application aided by EkoNiva’s experts. These technologies are the future of agriculture, and we are trying to keep up with the times.’

There is no doubt that soon the new multi-functional service centre will also establish itself as a centre of progressive agricultural knowledge. We will be glad to welcome you at Dobrino service centre!

By Aleksandr KUTISHCHEV and Viktor BARGOTIN