The use of geoinformation systems for the maintenance of electronic field passports and technological maps allows increasing the efficiency of decisions made and conducting a detailed analysis of yield results
In order to conduct a successful campaign, the agricultural enterprise needs to correctly determine the crop rotation, develop technological maps and monitor their quality implementation. The outcome and effectiveness of the decisions taken depend on the availability of reliable information on the area and condition of the fields — agrochemical and agrophysical indicators, precursor crops, agricultural operations performed, rainfall, — and on the promptness of obtaining such information.
DETERMINATION OF THE EXACT SQUARES OF PROCESSED FIELDS
As our experience of implementing projects in the agricultural sector suggests, the most important and fundamental step is the determination of the exact areas of the fields that are being processed by the company. The budget and planning of commodities, in one way or another, depends on the number of hectares allocated for this or that culture. Therefore, agroholdings are faced with the task of determining the exact contours of their fields. This task is included in the complex construction of the land bank management system, which we wrote about in the previous article of the journal. There are several options for solving this problem:
- Fast, cheap, but at the same time the least accurate way is applying contours of fields using geoinformation systems and open geoportals (Google, Yandex, Bing, orthophotos from an open cadastral map of Ukraine and others);
- Carrying out field measurements with the help of professional equipment on a high-speed car or ATV is a more effective alternative. However, the dependence on weather and availability of crops on the fields is the main difficulty of this option;
- The most optimal is the creation of field contours using archival space images. This allows not only to obtain exact fields, but also an actual image, on which it is possible to determine the thickets, marshy and other unusable terrain. Among the basic requirements of this option is the compactness of the territory of interest of the company to save money on purchasing images.
IN THE SCALE OF AGROHOLDINGS WE DO NOT CONSIDER THE GEODESIC RESEARCH FOR DETERMINING THE FIELD CIRCUITS IN CONNECTION WITH SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL AND TEMPORARY COSTS.
MAINTAINING THE HISTORY OF FIELDS AND PLANNING THE CROP ROTATION
Solving the issue of creating an electronic map of fields, agricultural enterprises are faced with another, no less important, problem — the lack of a unified database of fields and the history of their processing. As a rule, most of the information is from agronomists and, in case of termination of labor relations, the company risks losing it. This also significantly complicates the planning process and reduces the effectiveness of the decisions made. Geoinformation system allows to conduct a full analysis of each field on more than 50 indicators, including crop rotation, predecessors, planned and actual yields, mechanical and chemical composition of soils, phyto sanitary status, field work, etc. Also, the system allows you to connect terrain matrices, create thematic maps of yields, soil quality and conduct other operations. As a result, the electronic map of fields and the database of the agricultural holding contain all the necessary information for making managerial decisions on the placement of crops, the definition of processing technologies. Upon the determination of the crop rotation, the system makes it possible to create and maintain technological maps for crops. The main agronomists or economists create framework technological maps with basic operations, rates of sowing/entering, brands of equipment and aggregates. Next, the frame maps are automatically distributed in all fields in accordance with the crop rotation. Agronomists of specific departments detail the technological maps for their fields, add specific units of equipment, responsible machine operators, adjust, if necessary, the dates of operations. This gives an opportunity to put on record and control the entire process of agricultural production in the company.
OPERATIONAL MONITORING OF SOWINGS AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
During the season, companies are faced with various circumstances that require a change in planned activities. It is necessary to conduct regular field visits, monitor the condition of crops and, if necessary, make appropriate decisions. On the one hand, this may entail changes in the budget — the acquisition of additional inventories, the attraction of technology, on the other — to change the expected yield. Geoinformation system allows to record all outbreaks of agronomists in the fields with the help of the "Agronomist Report" tool and photographic fixation — uploading the photo in a binding to specific coordinates. This makes it possible to conduct the entire history of the survey of crops and justify the allocation of funds for conducting unscheduled operations. It is also possible to connect to the system satellite monitoring of crop conditions and on a weekly basis to obtain photographs of the state of biomass for their fields. In the case of integration with the GPS monitoring system, the geographic information system allows recording all performed operations and linking this information to specific fields. All of the above increases the effectiveness of management as a result of obtaining operational information on the fields. Upon harvesting, companies receive information on yields for each field. Having in the system all the basic information on fields and satellite monitoring data, the management can conduct a detailed analysis of the reasons for high or low yields, determine what exactly influenced the final result.
Summing up all the above written, we want to note that the systematic approach in the field of information support significantly increases the effectiveness of decision-making. Having extensive experience in implementing similar projects in agribusiness, we can say that the results fully compensate for the company's expenses. By investing in the development of information systems, the company can go through a crisis period and lay the foundation for its own development for the coming years.