By applying precision agriculture, we saved an incredible 600,000 CZK on fertilizers in one season.
„By applying precision agriculture, we saved an incredible 600,000 CZK on fertilizers in one season.“
"We already learned a lot about it at school, Doc. Ing. Václav Brant, Ph.D. led us to this topic quite often. I also have friends and former classmates who have already applied precision agriculture with positive results – while maintaining or slightly increasing the yield, they all saved on inputs such as fertilizers and seeds. I had a desire to get into it too. Especially considering the current fertilizer prices. With a plan to apply precision agriculture, I went to the management of the company. It wasn't entirely unanimous, but in the end we agreed that because of/thanks to fertilizer prices, it makes sense to go for it.''
"We started to look for a possible supplier. We also consulted with SORIN, our fertilizer supplier, who immediately referred us to CleverFarm. We got good references, so we didn't hesitate and started dealing with CleverFarm.''
In less than a week, representatives of CleverFarm arrived. First of all, they wanted to see our machines. They discovered that precision agriculture cannot be done with our machines. So they were really active from the beginning. Because they cooperate with several suppliers and create such an ecosystem with the aim of ensuring precision agriculture, they and the Sorin company managed to approach the BISO company, which is a supplier of agricultural technology. BISO lent the Kverneland Exacta variable spreader to 2 farms - AZOS Zakřany and ZD Naloučeny farms.
"Practically within 14 days of contacting CleverFarm, we were technically ready, everything fell into place beautifully." We had a modern spreader attached to an old tractor and CleverFarm, as a complete precision farming solution supplier,''
"We started by collecting historical data. That was key for us. Competing companies offered us, for example, only 4 years of historical seed analysis, CleverFarm came with at least 8 years of history, which was great because we could get more accurate data.''
CleverFarm also offers satellite monitoring, which measures in real time (every 5 days) the content of chlorophyll, water and biomass density. Unlike the NDVI method, monitoring from CleverFarm provides accurate and up-to-date data.
"Our strategy is clearly to support strong zones. The strategy of leveling the stand is good for rapeseed, for example - it could probably handle it. But with cereals, it doesn't make sense for us - we can fertilize some places as we want, but if there is no potential in a given place of the plot, even the largest dose of fertilizer will not make a significant difference in the yield.''
''Last year, the management wanted me to intensively limit the dose of nitrogen per hectare, so I sucked up most of the mineralized nitrogen. So I weakened even the strong zones, this year I aim to support them again,'' describes Souček and adds:
"As for the variable benefits, let's divide the plots into 2 types - the weaker ones and the stronger ones. I was careful with the weaker ones, for example, I applied only 50 kg of fertilizer per hectare less, with the stronger ones I opened the scissors significantly more.
"For example, on one plot where I now have canola, I have very acidic soil, so I put lime on a variable basis. I am still cautious and reduce the variable dose by about 15 - 20%, however next year I will increase the variability and reduce the dose by maybe 30% and will continue with it. Some plots are very variable indeed. For example, half of one plot has a pH of 5.5 and 60 mg/kg of phosphorus, while the other half has a pH of 4 - nothing really grows there, so we will reduce the stock NPK fertilization there to almost zero. In time, but it's getting there. I don't want to take too many risks yet, but I'm definitely heading for a significant reduction, we'll get to that in maybe 2 years.''
"I don't have the yield results yet, so I'm going through the fields for now. I do it the old fashioned way - I count the ears, the average grains and calculate the yield. That's how I've always done it. This year, I want to try yielding through a serviceman, at least on some plots of land.''
‚‚We saved 265,000 CZK on the crops on which we carried out stock and then regenerative fertilization, which are rapeseed, winter barley, rye, wheat and spring barley, just with variable doses.’’ says agronom Souček and adds:
‚‚I assume that next year it will be significantly more. For example, I want to save another 4% to 12% next year on rapeseed alone. When I calculate the total amount that we saved due to variability and due to variable and accurate spreader, ie. that we did not scatter fertilizer in wedges, on cycle paths, roads, etc., we saved CZK 600,000.’’