12 November 2020

Seed selection

Successful seed selection consists of different steps to ensure the best harvest. On the one hand there is the choice of a good seed, which will undoubtedly be the first step towards a good harvest next year. In our case, and in our opinion, we believe that for many farmers, the use of grain from the previous harvest as seed for the next sowing is common. On the other hand, the remaining seed is bought and in this way we are capable to renew the seed, especially in cereals and pulse vegetables.

The grain used from the previous harvest must be selected in order to have a seed free of impurities to make a reliable sowing. The normal way is to perform this selection in an agricultural cooperative or company dedicated to clean and select grain where they have specialized machines for this work.... the cost is usually around 0.03 €/kg. In other cases, farmers love to invent tools with machines already present in their houses and therefore can save money, reuse their tools and even show their inventions to their neighbours.

On this occasion, our friend Fernando sent us the method he uses to select alfalfa grain with his Deutz-Fahr 7206 combine harvester (there is no any specialized company in his area where that grain is selected). As you can see in the pictures and the video, he has equipped the machine with a hopper for the grain. The combine harvester swallows the grain and selects it. The fan has to be adjusted very well (give many revolutions) and the sieves have to be closed a lot... it seems that this device works very fine, it even fills the big bags directly. It is especially useful for times when farmers are in a hurry to prepare the seed and the combine harvester is stopped. On the other hand, we think that it is not very profitable since the combine harvester has high diesel consumption because it is a machine with powerful engines. 

Versión en español.


22 October 2020

A suitable implement for treatments of olive grove

It is necessary to have appropriate tools to work comfortably and be as efficient as possible. This statement works very well on this occasion because the two machines (tractor and trailed air blast) involved in this task are, maybe, the best machines to work with in our olive grove. 

A few weeks ago, we finished the care tasks for this campaign with the treatment carried out to the olive trees that are not yet in production... we have to wait for the winter to pass before starting again with pruning tasks and new treatment next March... as you can see in the pictures and video, the olive trees are really beautiful. For the olive trees that are in production, we will carry out another treatment in December after harvesting. We have done the autumn treatment basically based on copper, which will help the plant to overcome the winter months better. We also provide fertilizer to take advantage of the last weeks of growth of this season. 

Regarding the trailed air blast, the John Deere M120 is a very robust machine that really works very fine, as you can see in the video. The treatment is done quickly. If we then evaluate the leaves of the olive tree, the treatment carried out is quite noticeable. This is one of the basic tests that can be performed to see if the treatment has been applied correctly. 

The main characteristics of the trailed air blast are bellow: 

  • Pump up to 160 l/min and pressure up to 50 bar. 
  • 2,000 litre polyethylene tank with two agitators. 
  • Pneumatic group: 800 mm and 900 mm. 
  • Pneumatic controller: Fixed (intelligent package iS1.0 and iS1.1 can be installed). 
  • Several control systems: Hidromatic manual synchronized control, 2 channel and pressure control with electric regulation and optionally use of a WiFi tablet. 
  • Different deflector options to vineyard, anti-drift, fruit trees, etc. 
  • Efficient design fan (very quiet) that produces an air volume of up to 81,300 m3/h with a power requirement of only 38 HP. 

We are looking forward to showing you the next tasks in our olive trees which are treated like our own little kids.   

Versión en español.


14 October 2020

Looking for the best profitability

We presume that you could remember the post from a few months ago using Agroptima. Little by little we are becoming aware of that we have new tools which allow us to have better farm business management providing data that help us make decisions to improve our profitability. Agroptima allows us to easily manage every detail of our farm, analyse results, optimise treatments, visualize costs and yields. In addition, this tool quickly provides the field notebook. We think it is a highly recommended tool for all types of farming. 

We begin by monitoring all the work carried out on each of the fields throughout the campaign (it is done on the field when we are working there). For this we have been able to use our mobile phone thanks to the map and GPS utility. So, all you have to do is introducing the activity you are going to do, indicating the machinery to be used, phytosanitary products, fertilizers, etc. In this way, all this information is automatically stored in the cloud. 

Another very positive feature is the inventory control. Using this functionality we have been able to keep an exhaustive control of all the products we have bought and sold in the campaign. In this way we can have the record of historical prices, as well as checking prices at different suppliers for the same products, etc. Everything is focused on being able to anticipate the tasks to be carried out and thus have enough stock of consumables, products and tools. In terms of crop planning, seed acquisition, etc. Agroptima helps us a lot. All this is done through the crop calendar where you can see past seasons and check the crops that have been grown (highly recommended for farms with many small fields). 

One of the key points of this tool is revenue and cost management (excellent cost module). Through cost management we have had all the information up to date because it is often very difficult due to the lack of time. Also a control of what has been done on each field, always from the perspective of economic control of the field. Management of fixed costs, such as diesel, agricultural insurance costs, machinery repair, etc. is really useful, because all of this information will be split up automatically for each field according to its size and we think that this is great for getting a snapshot of the economic performance of each field or crop, which has allowed us to make decisions in relation to being able to carry out some types of tasks or others, which implied a greater or lesser cost investment for each field, depending on its individual economic situation. 

Reading these economic costs by field, by crop or in general, this tool has led us to draw conclusions regarding crop yields. Every farmer knows which the best are and the worst crop yields, with Agroptima we have been able to see this clearly in figures, in euros. We have obtained results which helps us to draw conclusions for future campaigns. We are not talking about having more gross tonnes of harvest in one field or another, but about being able to get the best net yield for each of them. Discovering crops that are a priori less productive in tons, but much more profitable in net profits. 

Finally, another aspect that has surprised us is their technical service support and online help, always ready to help everybody who have issues or doubt. We also had the opportunity to do free online courses, which we also found very interesting. 

Versión en español.