17 March 2023

Cereals. Works until harvesting days

After sowing and sprouting, we are still working on winter cereals. The tasks to be done until harvesting are basically based on three tasks: fertilisation, compaction and weeding.  

In this post you can see our fertilisation strategy, this year we have chosen the fertiliser Marte45 from the Spanish manufacturer Medifer with a dose of 240kg/he. It is a fertiliser that we have used in several previous years with very good results and it is also the one we have found at a reasonable cost (although too expensive compared to the previous years prices). Let's wait for the rains so that the plant can absorb all the fertiliser. 

We will wait for it to rain so that the fertilizer could be taken by the soil plants. 

On the other hand, after the mulch fertilisation, we have rolled the soil to compact it. The goal is to better fix the root to the soil and the stones we have hidden in the ground so that we can have a more comfortable harvest job. For this task we have used our new roller, from the manufacturer Gaher Metalic

The next job, and perhaps the last one before harvesting, is to apply the necessary phytosanitary treatments to kill weeds and to take care of the plant if we detect any disease... but we will surely talk about this in another post. 

Versión en español.

27 February 2023

Hexagon. GPS technology solutions

One of the tools that are practically indispensable nowadays, I can confirm that is almost compulsory, is an autosteer on the tractor if you want to carry out efficient work at the same time as a comfortable routing in your day-to-day working. In addition, the entire Agriculture 4.0 package offered by the different manufacturers is also a set of useful tools today, but it is true that autoguidance is already a basic piece of equipment for any farmer... it is a widely used technology.

This time we are going to introduce you to the Swedish manufacturer called Hexagon, which is the autoguidance system we have currently installed on our tractor. As we will discuss below, Hexagon offers a wide variety of solutions depending on the needs of the farmer for all different crops. Therefore, if we focus on precision, we can do the following categorisation:

  • Option 1: 15 cm accuracy. EGNOS satellite signal (free signal).  
  • Option 2: 8 cm accuracy. TerraStar L satellite signal.      
  • Option 3: 4 cm accuracy. TerraStar C-Pro satellite signal.      
  • Option 4: 2 cm accuracy. RTK signal (free signal but requires 3G coverage and active GNSS base station).

On the other hand, if we focus on the different screens available to us, these would be the options offered:

  • Option 1: Ti5 display of 5-inch. ISOBUS compatible but no SIM card slot (not compatible with RTK equipment).
  • Option 2: Ti7 display of 7-inch. ISOBUS compatible and with SIM card slot for RTK equipment.
  • Option 3: Ti10 display of 10-inch. Same functionality as the Ti7 display, with the only difference being the screen size.

As mentioned above, the displays are ISOBUS, so you can connect the implement directly (sprayers, seed drills, fertiliser spreaders, planters, etc.) and control the implement from the Hexagon display. This allows us to make automatic section cuts and variable doses depending on the GPS information we have in our Hexagon equipment. In addition, if we work with an ISOBUS implement and we need to have the information of the implement and the autoguidance information displayed at all times, two screens can be mounted, one dedicated to the implement and the other to the autoguidance. For non-ISOBUS implements, an intermediate device (called “section cutter”) is available to make the connection between the implement and the Hexagon screen. t should also be taken into account that all work can be exported for registration in the different field notebook tools that the farmer can use on a daily basis.

Finally, the steering is done by means of the Hexdrive electric steering wheel, although there is also the option of installing the steering directly to the tractor's hydraulics, taking a further step forward in the performance of the equipment.

As you can see, the manufacturer Hexagon offers solutions for all jobs, starting with the preparation of the soil and ending with the harvesting of all the crops we have on our farm.

17 February 2023

Sales of new agricultural machinery during 2022, in Spain

As is the tradition every year, we show the data of the sales of new machinery in Spain during 2022, these data are extracted from the information published by the Ministry of Agriculture (the information is published monthly, you can see this information from here). It is a summary of the most interesting data in our opinion. Overall, the figures are generally worse than in 2021, which we consider to be in line with the general trend of the average of the last few years.

The number of new tractors sold has decreased to 10,318 (11,672 units in 2021). A figure that is in line with the 10,000 new tractors sold annually which has been the benchmark figure for more than 10 years. Therefore, the sale of new tractors is on a steady path.

New tractor sales by brand continue to be led by John Deere (2,141 units in 2022, 2,351 units in 2021 and 2,429 units in 2020) and New Holland (1,522 units in 2022, 1,736 units in 2021 and 1,403 units in 2020). The news is that this year John Deere is again the leader in sales by commercial group. We would like to highlight the rise of Fendt, which is in third place with 699 units sold. Below you can see sales by brand on the chart:   

On the other hand, another interesting fact is the best-selling brand in terms of average power where Fendt continues to lead the market for another year with 187 hp/tractor (187 hp/tractor in 2020 and 188 hp/tractor in 2020). More information can be found in the following tables (data source Más que máquinas agrícolas blog):   

Some more interesting facts about the sale of new tractors: 

  • The Ministry has estimated the average sales price of a new tractor at €77,698 (€61,456 in 2021 and €58,830 in 2020): 
  • The average horse price continues to rise and is already at 646 €/HP (592 €/ HP in 2021 and 505 €/ HP in 2020). 
  • The average power of a new tractor sold in Spain is around 120  HP   (119 HP in 2021 and 117 HP in 2020). The average power of the total Spanish fleet is 70 HP. 

As for sales of new agricultural machinery in 2022, we would like to show a chart where you can see monthly sales. You have data about tractors, trailers, tillage machinery, seed drills, mowers or harvesting machinery, etc. We would like to mention that a total amount of 31,870 new machines were sold in 2022 (35,633 units in 2021 and 32,204 units in 2020). This is a significant drop compared to previous years. 

We highlight the following data on new sales of agricultural machinery: 

  • Sales of new trailers:  2,951 units, 3,818 units in 2021 and 3,834 units in 2020. 
  • Regarding trailed or mounted machinery: 
    • Soil tillage machinery: 2,926 units, 3,122 units in 2021and 2,914 units in 2020. 
    • Seed drills machinery: 1,002 units, 1,011units in 2021 and 932 units in 2020. 
    • Crop protection machinery: 6,938 units, 7,650 units in 2021 and 6,234 units in 2020. 
    • Spreaders and fertilization machinery: 1,976 units, 2,596 units in 2021 and 2,254 units in 2020. 
    • Harvesters machinery: 1,819 units, 2,062 units in 2021 and 2,174 units in 2020. 


Apart from that, we have to give special mention to the new combine harvesters sold in Spain which in 2022 was 191 units compared to 2021 in 2021and 279 units in 2021. This represents a very significant drop. This year the first place goes to New Holland with 68 units (102 units in 2021). This has never happened before because Claas has been the leader year after year. This sector is completely monopolised by New Holland (68 units), Claas (54 units) and John Deere (49 units). The other manufacturers' sales are practically symbolic (around 13% of sales). 

We want to give a special mention to the sales of self-propelled grape harvesters, which this year have increased compared to previous years with 137 new units sold (135 units in 2021 and 111 units in 2020). New Holland leads the market again, even more strongly for another year with 71% of sales. We can conclude that the market has been stable for several years with around 100 new units sold. We think that this is a good amount, so we think the wine and olive sectors are sectors with great potential.   

Other graphs on new tractor sales:

Versión en español.

31 January 2023

Rainfall in 2022

As usual, once a year, we analyse the annual rainfall data for our area and prepare this report to show the results to all of you. These data are very located (La Alberca de Záncara - Cuenca), but we think that the precipitation pattern could be applicable to the central area of Spain (the northern and southern zones have considerably more rainfall throughout the year).      

As a preview, the year 2022 could be considered a serious year in terms of precipitation. It is true that the total amount (400 mm) is quite good but below the average of the last 20 years (465 mm) so the worst thing is that we could say that it has rained a lot but it has rained poorly. Unsuitable rainfall because we had a very complicated nascence due to the very dry months of January and February and finally the month of May was very dry (only 9 mm) and also with high temperatures that generated a bad harvest of wheat, triticales and pulse vegetables (barley was more advanced and we did have a good harvest). Of the 400 mm of the year 2022, it should also be noted that most of it was in December (106 mm), so that the harvest of last year has not been able to take advantage of it. On the other hand, we have had a fairly good sowing and a good nascence that we will see how it is reflected in the harvest of 2023. 

If we focus on rainfall by season, we can see that on this occasion autumn has been the rainiest (186 mm) and spring has lost the first place it has held for years, however these rains are significant to have a good harvest. 

The year 2023 has started rather timidly in terms of rainfall (22 mm) but it has helped to have a good nascence. For now, the weather forecasts are not predicting any rain, so we will have to observe how our crops evolve... we will keep you posted.

Versión en español.

16 January 2023

Factory (IV). Broch

Another of our factory visits during the last year 2022 was to Arganda del Rey (Madrid) to the Broch facilities, dedicated to the manufacture of machinery for garlic, potatoes and monographs... specialized in machinery for garlic. This was a very enriching visit where we could see the whole process of design, development and manufacture of the machines, based on close contact with the farmer to respond to all needs. Here is also an introduction to what Broch means for garlic cultivation. 

Broch is a company founded in 1954 with Salvador Broch at the head. Today, the 4th generation has joined the company with Estela Broch. At the same time, garlic cultivation some 30 years ago posed significant challenges in terms of mechanization for planting, harvesting and further processing, harvesting and subsequent processing. Broch was responsible for providing solutions that today allow the farmer to have an almost fully mechanised crop and above all a profitable crop. 

The factory, it is mainly divided into two plants, on the one hand, the machining and production plant and on the other hand the assembly and dispatch plant. The company also has auxiliary warehouses to store spares and prefabricated machine parts that help reduce assembly times. As Jose Antonio Lostal (Marketing and Sales Manager) points out, the company is constantly in the campaign as they export to more than 60 countries and therefore there is always work in the fields and post-harvest in the garlic warehouses.  

We invite you to watch the video where you will understand the whole process in detail and you will also be able to see the work they are working on in the future. 

Broch's range of products includes the following: 

  • Garlic Crop Machinery 
    • Splitters 
    • Planters 
    • Harvesters 
    • Cleanners 
    • Graders 
    • Brushers 
    • Peelers 
  • Potato Machines 
    • Cup feed planters 
    • Potato diggers 
  • Precision mechanical seed drills 
    • Mechanical seed drills of precision, ease of use and low maintenance. 

Finally, it was very interesting for us to see the process of design, development and manufacture of garlic machines. Machines that we used in the cultivation of garlic for years, these gadgets have been with us practically all our lives and which have undoubtedly reduced our efforts and helped us to control production costs. Thank you very much for your attention during the visit and for explaining the whole process in detail and without any restriction. 

Versión en español.