Moscow – PhosAgro-Region, a PhosAgro subsidiary that is Russia’s largest mineral fertilizer distribution network, and Exact Farming have unveiled a digital system for monitoring the effectiveness of mineral fertilizers at the Russian Agrarian Forum. The companies estimate that the new digital field monitoring system could have an impact of up to RUB 500 million per harvest per 100-thousand hectares of farmed land.
The joint project between PhosAgro-Region and Exact Farming enables agricultural producers to control the application of mineral fertilizers and to monitor their effectiveness using remote sensors. The system is currently being piloted in nearly 20 regions of Russia.
The automated system monitors the condition of crops, enabling PhosAgro-Region’s agronomic service to make recommendations for adjusting the mineral nutrition being applied to crops based on remote sensor data, an analysis of vegetation spectral indices, meteorological data and information from farms. An important element of this system is digital satellite monitoring, which makes it possible to see fields in their entirety from the ground.
Information on the nutrient contents of different fertilizer grades is input into the system using NFC tags on PhosAgro’s fertilizer packaging. The tags can be read by a mobile app, which transmits the data to the Exact Farming satellite agronomic monitoring system and links a particular fertilizer to specific geo-coordinates. Analysis of data on the results of the use of mineral fertilizers in dozens of Russian regions will make it possible to automate the selection of mineral crop nutrients for various combinations of crops and agrometeorological conditions.
“The ability to process and analyse large volumes of agronomic data on an ongoing bases makes it possible for our customers to evaluate the effectiveness of various nutrition systems and to adapt them both independently or with the help of automated tools to the agronomic conditions of specific fields,” said PhosAgro-Region Development Director Maxim Zatochny.
Exact Farming CEO Anna Kudinova noted that during the pilot implementation of the system, the financial impact of the timely corrections to crop nutrition reached RUB 5.5 thousand per hectare for sunflowers, and from RUB 3.5 thousand to RUB 7.5 thousand per hectare for spring wheat, corn and sugar beet. “This means that the impact of this new digital system on a farm with 100-thousand hectares of arable land could reach up to RUB 0.5 billion,” said Ms Kudinova.