We are a modern farm that combines many years of experience with the latest technological developments in its production process. Keeping with the times we want to efficiently produce more and more good quality product that will satisfy even the most demanding customers. Therefore, we constantly invest in modern machinery as well as in equipment that, in combination with software, significantly improves the decision process at our farm.
Thanks to new technologies it is possible to carry out many necessary analyses in a short time, which affects the speed, precision and thus efficiency of our operations. Some of the work that used to be done manually is now automated and requires only some supervision by a man. The tasks that were impossible now are successfully carried out.
Here are the most important innovations used on our farm:
- digital maps of the fields
- maps of cereal yields
- scanning of the soil
- automatic driving and parallell tracking on tractors
- precise application of fertilizers
- sprayers with section control
- potato planting seed distance control
- DSS (Decision Support System)
- computerized control of storing conditions
- automatic storage filling line
Implementing of these gave us the following benefits:
- increase in efficiency and productivity
- savings of time
- optimization and improvement of decision taking process
- avoiding human errors
saving of plant protection chemicals and fertilizers
- greater precision in the field work
- reduced negative impact on the environment.
Digital maps of fields are today an important tool to work on the farm. They are made with use of a GPS device and contain a detailed outline of a field. Then, using a soil scanner the areas of similar soil structure are determined. Based on these data a map is prepared, containing zones of various soil types in a given area. Each of the zoned is then tested for nutrient contents, thus allowing subsequently creating maps of soil fertility. Information presented by such a map are used in the process of planning sowing, fertilizing and spraying of fields. Ready application maps are transferred from the computer to the navigation panel on a farming machine which performs certain work based on these guidelines.
This kind of maps are prepared and used on our farm. Thanks to them we can perform many activities in a more efficient and accurate way, avoiding many decision-making errors. They are verified frequently, in accordance with our needs and changing field conditions.
Next to digital maps of nutrients we also create maps of the cereal yields. They are prepared based on the data collected by our harvesters that are equipped in a proper yield measurement and recording system. These maps are a source of knowledge on what soil and with what doses of chemicals that are applied we achieved a given yield level. This way we have an opportunity to confront these informations with our previous experience about a given field. Thanks to these practices we can improve the quality of our yield and to optimize the input costs.
AUTOMATIC PARALLEL DRIVING
This system is present on some of our tractors that are used directly for the most crucial field work. Thanks to this system we avoid overlapping of driving and leaving some areas uncovered while sowing, applying fertilizers or planting. This system, based on the GPS system is augmented by a base station antenna, installed on the roof of our office and sending the correction signal to tractors.
Some of our vehicles have also automatic driving system that makes it posible to drive and perform work on field with accuracy up to even 2.5 cm, which ensures highest precision, regardless of the driver's experience. This is done with use of systems controlling the hydraulic steering of tractors, turning sensors and modules that compensate tractors tilting in three axes. Each movement of the machine is controlled in a way that provides immediate correction of any deviation in driving.
These solutions make it possible to carry out the work simultaneously with use of even three machines on one field, which is very useful while planting potatoes. Thanks to this practice we can work faster and more accurately. All the ridges are of the same size, even if connected and prepared by different machines.
Our farm is specialized in potato growing so a large part of our investment is related to machines designed for preparing the soil, planting the tubers and harvesting potatoes. Precision on every stage of potato growing brings not only savings in the production means but it also results in a greater yield and higher product quality. That is why we take care so that potatoes are correctly planted, with keeping the proper distances, depth and amount of tubers per 1 ha, in order to achieve optimal crop density. This is done by 4-row, fully automated planters. Filled with seed tubers, they automatically move them and place in the furrow -- which is later covered by a newly formed ridge. The role of the operator comes down only to setting the proper working parameters of the machine and supervising its work.
Precise fertilizing takes into account the balance between specific needs of soil and plants that are grown on it and requirements of the natural environment protection. Our goal is to maintain the optimal level of organic matter in the soil, it is therefore important to provide nutrients in a thoughtful and precise way.
To achieve this we carry out a number of analyses concerning the soil condition and its ever changing needs. Received data in conjunction with the knowledge and experience on the individual requirements of the plants that we grow are used for creating fertilizer plans and maps. Based on these we create digital application maps that are subsequently moved to the navigation panels and thus to cockpits of tractors carrying out the job. The machine automatically adjusts its doses to specific locations on the field, additionally turning off application while making a return. With such solutions the application of fertilizer is performed precisely and economically. Its effectiveness, however, largely depends on the efficiency of machines and implements used for application, therefore they are calibrated a couple of times throughout the season.
Using computers for activities related to preparation and carrying out fertilizer application on our farm makes it possible to optimize the actual use of fertilizers, which leads to savings, resulting from precise application and full control of costs ot it.
REGULATED AND CONTROLLED FLOW OF PLANT PROTECTION PRODUCTS
The use of plant protection products is necessary to preserve the health of crops. However, it requires detailed knowledge, farmer's experience and precise application. Optimal spraying ensures minimizing influence of these chemicals to the environment, avoiding the likelihood of the emergence of resistance in pests and eliminating the risk of residues in the yield. Thanks to new technologies in agriculture, treatment spraying nowadays is much more safe, simpler and easier to be monitored.
In our company we use modern sprayers that are equipped with systems that analyze constantly the driving parameters of the machine. They adjust the dose of the sprayed chemical to every change of driving speed and RPM, thus ensuring a uniform application of the chemical on the entire area of the field. It is made possible by means of the pressure regulator in the spray line. It would also react to changes in the width of application, which takes place if we use section control. The system would automatically turn off the nozzles on the locations where application already took place, so to avoid overlapping of spraying. The machine works very evenly on the field, mainly due to stable construction of the chassis that perfectly absorbs all the bumps which translates to optimization of application of the plant protection chemicals.
However, before the sprayers go to the field we carry out detailed analyses of data concerning development of the crops and the risk of emergence of diseases or pests. Based on many years of experience, the knowledge and data on current and forecast weather conditions we create an action plan in terms of plant protection products. This is augmented by a computer-based Decision Support System (DSS). Thanks to this we react more quickly and act more precisely. It provides us with information of when where and what doses must be used for spraying. This way we avoid wasting of plant protection chemicals and the proper reaction time and correct selection of chemicals to be applied ensures the health of our crops.
AUTOMATION OF WORK IN STORAGE
A modern storage can significantly reduce the contribution of physical labor in the process of storing the product. This happens thanks to machines and devices that are properly programmed and perform many tasks related to storing of the product.
In our storage we use new technologies to improve the storing system and to make the manual labor easier. Eliminating of some physical activities lets us focus workers attention on the quality of their work. The most important factor is proper programming and systematic control of the systems working in the storages as well as supervising the performance of machinery.
Automation of operations concerning transport, filling the storage and storing the potatoes greatly reduced the time needed and limited the risk of mechanical damage to tubers. We are talking here primarily about automating heap formation device which stack potatoes evenly and efficiently. This effect is achieved by its optical sensor that continuously adjust the height of the conveyor belt and control its movement sideways.
COMPUTER-CONTROLLED STORING CONDITIONS
Our storages are equipped with computerized systems of ventilation which allow us to control the microclimate of the storage to meet ever changing potato needs. Sensors, installed in crucial areas of the storage, keep controlling the storing temperature, moisture and concentration of CO2. Any deviations from a given set of parameters are immediately and automatically corrected. This system ensures quick reaction and provides equal conditions in the entire storage volume. With this solution we limit our losses in the product and gain confidence that the quality of potatoes will be unchanged throughout the entire storing period.
The system works correctly only when it is properly programmed. The key decisions are still made by men. With years of experience and knowledge on life processes of potatoes and its biochemical transformations we can control the microclimate in the storage in a professional way.