12 May 2021

Satellite imagery: another tool to be considered

In 2017 we performed a study of the vegetative state for one of our fields using a drone that photographed the crop. Then, after a further images processing, we were able to obtain an image of the vigour of the crop in the field. At the time, it was the best option in terms of cost. Technology continues to advance and now we are going one step further, which is the use of satellite imagery together with the appropriate Internet platform to provide us that picture of the vigour of the crop in much shorter times and over the life of the crop... the price is 4€/he.

A few months ago we discovered the Satagro platform which offers farmers monitoring of crop growth (especially cereals) using satellite images. We registered and started using it which has been found  very useful since the information is extensive and the use is very simple... it is really a powerful tool to be taken into account to improve crop monitoring.

Once you have registered, the fields that you want to follow through satellite images, Satagro will inform you when new images are being taken (we have a calendar) so that you can see the vegetative growth of your crops. It is very interesting to be able to monitor the whole life of the crop. In addition, more information is available such as temperature, rainfall, wind, etc... That features make this tool a very powerful tool to have a right complete view of the state of the crop in the whole field. Another interesting aspect is the possibility to import data from other external sources so we can make graphs with different information and even have a  photo history from other years to help us define the yield model of our fields... we cann't forget that, in the end, the goal is to have tools that allow us to produce more quantity and better quality with less cost.

Therefore, the final result is to have a map of the field that allows us to carry out more localised fertiliser or phytosanitary treatments according to the needs of the crops. This tool allows us to achieve this!!

30 April 2021

Rainfall in 2020

As usual, we show you annual rainfall data for our area. 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, we can consider 2020 as a very good year in terms of rainfall. It started raining in March and practically did not stop until the end of the year. In total it was 602 mm (only the year 2010 exceeds it), as it can be seen in the history of the last 21 years. The average rainfall in recent years rises to 470 mm. November was a very rainy month (140 mm) and we were able to sow with perfect soil conditions. April and May produced a very good cereal crop, although in some cases rust damaged some fields due to the humidity caused by so much rain... the farmer has to be alert and if possible treat with fungicides.

If we focus on rainfall by season, we can see that on this occasion the rainiest season has been spring (normally it is usually autumn or winter). As we mentioned before, the spring was quite rainy and there was a very good harvest (plots of Planet barley up to 7,000 kg/ha... you can see it in this video).

The spring of 2021 is being also very rainy (67 mm only in April), so another good harvest is expected... it is still too early to talk because there are still many nights before the combine harvester starts working.

15 April 2021

Virtual farm fairs

These days, it is very common to see traditional agricultural fairs being postponed or even canceled due to this damn pandemic. As it is impossible to be present at events where there are supposed to be a large number of visitors, manufacturers have turned the premiers into digital trade fairs as the only option to show their machines to reach farmers... because it is clear that farmers like to see and touch before buying. Therefore, in one format or another, it is essential to show the product so that it can be sold later. 

One of these examples is the fair that CNH is holding these days under the name Youniverse. It is very well done and allows you to see the entire catalogue of machinery, tractors and implements of the brands New Holland, CaseIH and Steyr. For example, we also frequently attend press conferences where new tractor models are presented. If a little over a year ago it was a face-to-face event where the excitement of the launch of new tractors was experienced (after many hours of work), nowadays it is normal to watch it from home sitting in front of the computer. 

Another example of virtual fairs is offered by the French company Agriconfor. They have managed to develop a 360° Scan where you can see the whole machine as if you were stand in front of it... The technology used has caught our attention and we liked it very much, so we would like to share it with you in the following examples: 

Versión en español.

30 March 2021

New tools for winegrowers and olive growers

We had the opportunity of spending a fantastic day with the vineyard tools from the Italian manufacturer called Spedo. Our friends from AgriNativo asked us if we wanted to see working the Spedo implements, because they had started to import them to Spain.  No sooner said than done! As we usually do for the tests in the vineyard, we talked to our great friend Oscar (El Provencio - Cuenca) and there the staff of Spedo showed up with two implements that you can see in our videos.

The sensations obtained by watching the Polaris PRO Combi Series cultivator at work were grateful demonstrating that it an implement of very high quality... for instance, they can be compared with the Spanish ID-David implements. The inter-row allows for high speed work and the integrated tiller helps to remove weeds when there is an abundance of debris. The cultivator can be equipped with different inter row depending on the work to be done... all made by Spedo, so you have different implements in one. There is little to complain about the cultivator: it works well on hard ground, the hydraulics are very well designed, the roller does a very good job, the inter row gives the impression that it is of the highest quality. If we have to indicate an improvement, it could be a cultivator in three rows and 9 tines. Of course, it is a tool to be considered for the most demanding winegrowers.

In the second part of the day, we tested the Giove Series implement. This implement only works with the inter row in order to leave the centre unworked... ideal for vineyards where you want to leave a layer of vegetation and keep the soil between the vines clean. We were able to test it with several heads and it was very curious to see it working. It is even designed to work in tree crops with large canopies, as it allows you to extend the arm so that you can reach under the tree without any problems.

In conclusion we could say that we didn't know the Italian manufacturer Spedo until now, but their machines left a very good impression.

Versión en español.