POTATO PRODUCTION FARM
A 100-hectare potato farm located in Eastern Russia. The farmers had not produced potatoes before and were securing a contract to sell to the military stored potatoes. They were dairy farmers with experience in row crop production on corn.
The entire plan consisted of 300 hectares of potatoes, 1000 hectares of soybeans and 1000 hectares of corn.
Our group was responsible for purchasing pre-owned equipment from the USA, coordinating freight to Eastern Russia, creating agronomy program, training of employees on equipment operations, and implementing the production plan.
This was one of the first projects we did in Eastern Russia. The group of farmers was simple. We did not use GPS, yield monitors, or mapping for this project. We kept it as simple as possible for the farmers to understand the mechanical side of farming. Later GPS, mapping, yield monitoring, and soil sampling was implemented.
Thousands of hectares lay fallow in this region. Potatoes are a main source of food here for the people.
Being one of our first projects based in Russia this brought a whole new set of challenges we had not faced in farming. America is so advanced in agriculture we often take for granted what we have at our fingertips there.
Some of the first issues we faced were logistics. Breaking down driving a few miles back home to get a part that sits on a shelf at the local dealership is a far cry from that in the location we built this farm. Proper planning of parts, sister equipment, and having a plan A, B & C is absolutely necessary for these areas.
Planting, spreading and spraying with markers was another task we had not anticipated. Easy to jump in the Terragator turn on the AgLeader and spread.
The last hurdle was speaking the local language. As easy as it may sound many times, we were drawing images in the dirt to communicate. While this slowed our operations down some it taught all of us a valuable lesson of how to work together without the ability to communicate.
No Backup Equipment
Nutrient Deficient Soils
Limited Part Availability
Import Customs and Duties
Theft of Crops
We built a team of old-time Russian farmers with new techniques they had not experienced before. We successfully harvested a great crop and the farm owners pursued a long career in potato production.
We managed to put together a plan to avoid some of the early problems we faced with logistics and planning make the following years much more manageable.
At the end of the first season, all the challenges the team had faced were identified and addressed. This made the following season less strenuous and more profitable for the farmer.
A great project and a real pleasure teaching farmer in this region on potato production. A proud culture and dedicated group with a get it done attitude. It was a real pleasure working with them.