31 December 2022

Cereal and pulse vegetables sowing days

In the months of November and December, agricultural work is focused on sowing. Firstly, we start with cereals and then with pulse vegetables. In cereals, we initially sowed triticale (Orval variety), then we continued with wheat (this year we sowed the Albufera variety, which is a short-cycle wheat) and finally we finished with barley (this year we sowed Rubiana and Medinaceli)... along the months of November and early December.  In November we had serious doubts about when to start sowing as it did not rain until mid-month, the soil was very dry and also the rain forecasts were not at all positive. In the end it rained and we had a very good sowing season. 

Now, during these Christmas days we are sowing pulse vegetables:  lentils (Eston and Pardina varieties) and bitter vetch. With the new CAP, many farmers have started sowing pulse vegetables. In our case, we have not noticed any difference because we have been rotating with pulse vegetables instead of sunflower for several years (which is the most common in our area, for example). Very dry summers and high temperatures make sunflower no longer attractive in terms of yields. 

During the first days of November (with very dry soil) we did a small nascence test as you can see in the pictures. We sowed a few grains at different depths to see how they are born and how they evolve in the first weeks of growth. Days after sowing, we could see a lot of rainfall, so the soil conditions changed dramatically. The grains that we sowed around 2 cm deep clearly emerged very quickly, but those that we sowed at 6 cm and 9 cm have come out quite well and I would even say that today the plant looks even better than those sown at 2 cm... we will keep an eye on developments. 

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2023 full of health, good harvests and fair prices. 

Versión en español.

16 December 2022

Factory (III). Timac Agro

Continuing with the seeding work, one of the most important tasks is the fertilisation. This year is even more important due to the high price of fertilisers. The price of cereal can still afford the use fertilizers and therefore this year we have chosen Timac Agro D-Coder Top 8 for our fields where we have sown cereal. The dose has been lower than was usual because we have sprayed at 240 kg/ha. 

A few weeks ago we were lucky enough to visit the Timac Agro factory in Navarra and more specifically in the village of Lodosa, where they produce solid, water-soluble and biostimulant fertilisers. In addition, we also visited the headquarters in Pamplona where we could attend a magnificent talk to learn about the entire range of Timac Agro products. It was a very interesting trip to learn about the manufacturing process of the D-Coder (on the day of the visit they were producing Top 8, although they also produce Top 6), which we indicate below: 

  1. We start from lime sulphate, which is used to make the skeleton of the granules because D-Coder is a granular fertiliser. This casing has no NPK fertiliser value. 
  2. Rock phosphate arrives at the factory and is treated with sulphuric acid to obtain monocalcium phosphate (also called superphosphate). This is the phosphorus that is already soluble and can be assimilated by the plant. 
  3. Once we have the NPK nutrients (nitrogen 7%, phosphorus 10% and potassium 20%) together with the D-Coder formula (potassium, sulphur, calcium and magnesium) they are put together in a mixing cylinder where all these nutrients are glued to the initial casing. 
  4. It is passed through a cooler.
  5. Then it goes through a dryer. It should be noted that this dryer uses biomass.
  6. The D-Coder already produced is stored in silos. 
  7. It goes through a cylinder where it is painted green, which will give it the visual identity of D-Coder fertiliser. 
  8. It is riddled because the balls are from 2.5 mm to 5 mm.
  9. It is stored in silos once it has been painted. 
  10. Before shipping, it is riddled again and served according to the customer's request: sacks of 25 kg or 40 kg, big bags of 600 kg or bulk. 

The factory's activity is frenetic, working in three shifts and being able to produce some 900 tonnes of fertiliser a day, and they can even handle some 1,300 tonnes a day. The factory is distributed into several sections where the different processes mentioned above are carried out... all very orderly and differentiated. In addition, the water-soluble fertiliser section has its own warehouses and the biostimulant section as well, so everything is very well differentiated, with a large part dedicated to solid fertilisers. It was very interesting to see the whole process of producing fertiliser. 

Versión en español.