Comments of customers

Alexandr MyaukinAlexandr Myaukin, Chief agronomist of “Tselinny” LLC (Zabaykalye region, Russia):

— We met Agro-Soyuz in Novosibirsk in 2007 during the International No-Till Conference. After that we came to Mayskoye to see an operating model of resource-saving and conservation agriculture. The fact is that Zabaykalye region is very poor in terms of precipitation, we have short vegetation period and water and wind erosion problems are very acute. The land that we received from previous owners was depleted and we had to do something to restore it. Another target was to eliminate fallows, which are economically inefficient. Taking all these factors into consideration, we took a strategic decision to convert to direct seeding technology. Agro-Soyuz’s specialists helped us with this; they implemented a turn-key project at our place: from diagnostics of the enterprise to establishing a technical system and to technological support.

This is how we made a transition to No-Till. Immediately afterwards there was a severe drought in our region for 2 years, but even those conditions did not prevent us from reaping good yields. We farm on 40,000 hectares of land, where we used to operate 32 tractors К-700 with SZS seeders. This fleet was substituted by two wide implements manufactured by Agro-Soyuz. Only this allowed us to reduce production costs by 20%. Our operation costs continue to reduce. We also managed to reduce the number of employees, and this allowed us to increase salary to those that stayed with the enterprise. Quality of work also improved, because the less staff you have, the better you can control people. Manageability of processes also improved. This new technology allowed to reduce fuel consumption significantly (42 l/ha vs 12 l/ha). We are also happy with our yields, for example our neighbors that plow managed to harvest 1-1.2 tons of wheat per hectare, whereas our yield was 1.8 t/ha. Interestingly enough that people do not want to change: they used to plowing and they continue to plow...

We keep close relations with Agro-Soyuz. Our new topic of interaction is introduction of new crops into our crop rotation. Traditional crops for our region are monoculture grain and this is dragging all those problems with pests, diseases, etc. Agro-Soyuz is holding Practical Crop Growing Schools, which are very interesting and useful. I regularly visit Mayskoye myself and always bring new employees with me, e.g. young agronomists that have just graduated (as far as I know Institutes are teaching modern technologies now) for them to see that resource-saving technologies are working under conditions of a real farm, this is not a myth and not just words, this is a real experience and it works!