Harsh Siberian climate increases risk in agriculture. Modern farming technologies help mitigate the risks and improve farming productivity.
Russian farmers know the realities of a risky farming zone: a short growth period, low soil fertility and rainfall shortage. All this is typical for working in the fields of Siberia. However, modern farming technologies can help agricultural businesses be successful, even in these tough conditions.
International experience in Novosibirsk
SibZernoProm, one of the most dynamically developing and successful farms in Siberia, recognizes the importance of learning from international experience. With similarities between their own conditions and those in parts of Canada, they have chosen to test and adapt Canadian technologies, with the results proving to be effective not only in Siberia, but also in other parts of the Russian Federation.
Viktor Pankov, Director of SibZernoProm LLC, notes the importance of exchanging international experience.
“At least twice a year we welcome foreign specialists to our farm,” he said.: “They are interested in our experience, while we need their knowledge and practice.”
Like their foreign colleagues, Siberian farmers chose to use the most powerful agricultural machinery for oilseed crop cultivation, in particular, rape.
The company currently has 12,000 ha in the Kupinskiy District (Novosibirsk Oblast), a unique area of the Kulunda Steppe on the border with Kazakhstan. Thanks to previous years’ success, the company plans to add 5,500 ha of cultivated land every year, up to 40,000 ha. The expansion is planned specifically for oilseed crops, which include not only rape but also flax and sunflowers.
Unique quality rape
Back in 2018, the company’s rape yield amounted to 22.02 tonnes/ha, while the average yield in Novosibirsk Oblast was 1.33 tonnes/ha , and in Russia it was 1.48 tonnes/ha. Modern agricultural machinery and imported crop protection products played a significant role in this achievement.
Rapeseed grown by SibZernoProm is a unique product with high oil and oleic acid content. It is in high demand in Russia as well as in South East Asia, where the company supplies its products. To increase the production profitability, the company is building its own oil extraction plant in Kupinsk. The production of oil will be based on SibZernoProm’s capacities with the involvement of the neighborhood farms, which are following the company’s best practices.
Focus on machinery
Today SibZernoProm is one of the leaders in Russia using cutting edge technologies and modern machinery. The company’s fleet includes eight high-performance Case IH tractors: five Steiger 500 Quadtrac tractors as well as a Steiger 600 Quadtrac, Steiger 550 and Magnum 340 tractors. The company pioneered the use of the Steiger 600 Quadtrac in Russian fields. Case IH’s industry leading track technology is famous for optimal ground pressure, superior flotation and better traction—even in wet or slippery spots. This allows farmers to begin their necessary operations earlier in the season— a crucial advantage in Siberia.
Early soil preparation and cultivation also increase the vegetation period. As a result, the company gets not only a better yield but also high-quality rape—results considered to be impossible for Siberian farmers not too long ago! Case IH Patriot 4430 self-propelled sprayers equipped with the AIM Command system are used to protect crops during dry Siberian summers. They help to increase the soil water capacity and promote the highest-quality yield.
The company uses Case IH Axial-Flow 8240 combines for quick and efficient harvesting. These highly-automated and productive 500 hp combines allow significantly shorter harvesting windows, guarantee lower seed losses, and enable the fulfilment of all shipment obligations just in time.
The company plans to develop several promising business areas at once: oilseed growing and processing at the future oil extraction plant as well as malt production, which is already seeded on 1,700 ha. Another 50 ha are reserved for experimenting with promising new high-yield soybean, sunflower and rape varieties. SibZernoProm will continue to maintain and increase the high yield unique crop varieties by a wide-scale implementation of modern machinery and technologies. This is what successful farmers are betting on today in the tough Siberian conditions.