Weather conditions, the pandemic and new laws. What will we remember 2020 for? Vladimir Seryi, Director of KUSTO AGRO FARMING, spoke about the main decisions, achievements and problems arising in connection with the production this year.
What difficulties we had to face and what did we manage to do?
Weather and climatic conditions are the main problem that affected the yield potential not only in the agricultural holding KUSTO AGRO. Due to lack of moisture, cold spring and August drought, it was not possible for us to reach the maximum planned result; the drought affected spring crops such as soybeans and maize more than anything else. Besides, autumn rains did not allow to quickly harvest the remaining volumes of sunflower and maize.
Nevertheless, the KUSTO AGRO team, despite the unfavorable weather conditions, quickly found solutions and, thanks to this, warranted good harvests. Timely online team meetings, clear opinions on the purchase of equipment, additional hiring of equipment, changes to the delivery elevator allowed us to minimize losses.
Did the coronavirus affect workflow activity?
During the quarantine period, 5% of KUSTO AGRO’s employees became ill with coronavirus. The team had to swap or replace people from time to time. However, this did not affect the technological process in any way. The company was able to purchase all the necessary personal protective equipment such as masks, respirators and antiseptics. We also introduced individual distribution of meals in special packages to avoid the agglomeration of workers.
Did we manage to improve our performance?
This year, thanks to the PODILLYAAGROZAKHIST company, it was possible to test the Cultan technology, which allows applying UAN, LCF and other liquid fertilizers to the soil selectively, in the right proportions and at a fixed depth of 6-7 cm; the droplets of the fertilizer remain near the plants, which then consume them. As a result, our demonstration area showed a 10% increase in corn yield.
In 2020, we purchased an automatic penetrometer for our own vehicles and partially changed our approach to tillage. First, we tested the soil and then performed the appropriate tillage, such as plowing or subsoiling. After that, we examined the structure of the soil, the grade of compaction, etc. For the first time during the entire period of its existence, the KUSTO AGRO company carried out subsoiling on an area of 5 thousand hectares.
Also this year, we sowed 75 hectares of wheat using a no-till system of tilling with spacing between rows of 35 cm and a density of 2 million seeds. The PRECISION PLANTING Company provided the discs that allowed for wheat sowing. However, the weather had other plans. Some areas of maize yielded 15 tons per hectare in physical weight, but, unfortunately, the main massif was affected by draught and as a result, we did not obtain the potential harvest in full.
Our Plans for the Next Year
The KUSTO AGRO Company plans to purchase two Cultan engineering systems to provide nutrition for winter wheat, winter rapeseed and maize. Besides, liquid fertilizers will be partially used on 3.5 thousand hectares of maize and sunflower crops in order to accelerate plant growth and prevent their stress during cold periods.