Trust, but measure: how and why to conduct field measurements

Money like counting. It is in the calculation of the budget farmers begin the season of field work. The cost of equipment and fertilizers, seeds and plant protection products, and another ten points on the list. But can you really calculate if you do not understand what you spend on it? And most importantly - where exactly? About whether the exact, and most importantly - whether the actual map of fields is in their hands, is not what every agrarian think about.

How to calculate the amount of land on which the agricultural companies in Ukraine work? Collect all contracts, raise the sum of hectares and get our size of the land bank? Unfortunately, not everything is so simple. The agreement, paper scatter cards, electronic cadastral map of Ukraine are not exact sources of information about the real size of land in use.

Some area is overgrown with the near forest belt. The edges of the field were plowed more than necessary. Somewhere present: swampy terrain, field path, shrubs around the support of the transmission lines, salt marshes. All this is typical loss of productive area.As the experience of our work shows, the inconsistency of the legal area with the actual may amount to 2-5% for the enterprise.

Small farms are not particularly concerned with this. The error of a few meters is not the biggest problem for a small farmer. When processing 200-500 hectares, the manager may know the field better than an agronomist. However, in the case of big players with thousands of hectares, which are still in the territory of several regions, the situation is already different.

Management of large companies may only be familiar with the Land Bank on paper. Managers form budgets and allocate resources between departments, using data on the size of land received from cadastral lifts.


Here is an interesting fact: by visiting the electronic portal of the National Geological Cadaster, you can find land plots located on the territory of the Kaniv Reservoir! Therefore, the approach to budgeting without having accurate data on the size of land is a direct way to losses.


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Not knowing the exact area of the land of your company is:

  • overexpense for "nonexistent" hectares;
  • problems using precision farming tools.

If it is impossible to ask the correct parameters for the engineering, it will be difficult to work on differentiated fertilization and precise cropping. Without accurate maps and areas of land, there will be problems with the implementation of irrigation systems, the growth of capital-intensive niche crops. Optimizing budgets due to the precise determination of the amount of mineral fertilizers, seeds, plant protection products and fertilizers needed for the implementation of technological operations is also considerably more complicated.

Field measurement is not a one-time action. As I mentioned above, the land bank is unstable. He often changes - somewhere did not reach the end of the line, somewhere changed the number of shares, someone exchanged areas with a neighbor. So, the more urgent the picture of agrarians wishes to have, the more regular it should carry out measurements. And since Ukraine does not have a unified map of fields that would be updated regularly, it is necessary to count on own forces and on modern technologies.

For measuring fields, modern agrarian tools are not sufficient.

Today there are three main methods to determine the area of ​​the field:

  • bypassing the field along the perimeter,
  • the use of satellite data,
  • flying the field drones.

Consider each of the methods in comparison with the other two.

three main methods to determine the area of ​​the field

Each technology is designed for different consumers. The low cost of a detour is offset by the cost of fuel for equipment, the time consumed and the lower accuracy of the data received.

Work on setting the exact area with the help of satellite is more convenient. However, this approach has its own peculiarities - in the process of measurement will require the departure of a group of surveyors, the data will be processed longer.

The use of drones today is the most effective and fastest technology for obtaining information about the area of ​​the fields.

The use of drones is particularly functional, since together with the electronic contour drone fix not only the area of ​​the fields. UAVs also follow the quality of crops - you can estimate the vegetation state of plants at the time of flying. By identifying non-homogeneous fields of the field, you can identify the problem and take measures promptly. It saves not only the future harvest, but also the pocket of the owner, allowing to compare the processed area with the leased.

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Whatever the technology for measuring the fields would not choose agrarian, the need for this procedure remains in the first place. Without it, it is impossible to optimize budgets, get basic data for precision farming systems, satellite and GPS monitoring, and also - minimize technical losses when inventorying a land bank.

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Vadym Ostapenko
Author
Vadym Ostapenko
Adviser

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