We talked to Joaquín Deagustini, from Asesoragro, about how he performs precision agriculture with our platform and adds value to his customers in 9 de Julio, Rojas and Vedia (Buenos Aires, Argentina).
He has been working with Auravant for three years and is part of our Partner Network. He currently uses the platform in more than 80% of the advised area and expects to have 90% loaded by next year. In this way, Asesoragro achieves significant savings in inputs, obtains accurate information and provides added value to its customers through digital agriculture.
The company provides comprehensive agronomic advice in the area of 9 de Julio, Rojas and Vedia (Buenos Aires, Argentina) and is a member of AAPRESID and AAPPCE. We talked to Joaquín Deagustini, the company’s advisor, about how he uses Auravant in his daily work and the benefits of our platform.
– How are you currently using the platform at Asesoragro?
– Today, we provide advice to more than 35,000 hectares and we have more than 25,000 hectares loaded on the platform. And in that area, we have all kinds of cases. We have clients who turn to precision agriculture, variable fertilization, variable seeding.
We also have clients who use the platform more, because they have more surface area: rainfall and farm records are uploaded. Many times, they would come with the problem of arriving to the farm and not knowing what had happened in the field. Because they are clients who may have 40 fields. That is where our offer to do everything we call “information digitalization” came up, which consists of being hand in hand with the person in charge of the farm, because we mostly give the orders. We say what has to be done in the field and we upload all the information, from the seeding date: what density was used, what seed, variety and depth, how much fertilizer was used or what products were applied to control weeds or pests. That way, the customer today can open the application, go to the field and already knows the whole record. Some of them have the data load from 2019 to date and it is a lot of information that, for us and for the customer, it is very good to have it all together.
– You found a very clear way to show the efficiency of variable labor to customers by showing in dollars the kilos saved.
– It is a way for them to see it in a more concrete way and they are very attracted to it. Because when you put more technology in agriculture, the numbers are better. We have cases in which we have done all the possible variable tasks: applications, fertilizations, sowing, all in the same season, and, if we put them together, we get a result of more than 40 dollars per hectare. If we extrapolate it to the agricultural sector and its costs, it is a lot.
– Is this $40/ha savings given with any particular crop?
– In corn more than anything else, because it allows us to make a variable seeding and have the impact that generates a more efficient use of a very expensive seed. In this case, we sowed with variable seed, with phosphorus we went along the line of variable seeding and then we made two applications of variable urea. And that field had previously had a variable phosphorus broadcast as well. So, there were about five variable applications, all in the same crop. Maybe with wheat, we would go with fixed seeding, because it would not change the scheme so much and it would change the scheme to go with the variable fertilization package. In wheat, with the maximum variable possibilities and a field that lends itself, we have had more than $25 in savings.
– Similarly, in wheat and soybeans there are also savings that justify variable handling.
– No way! We mention this value because it is clear and attractive to the customer. In reality, what these 40 or 25 dollars reflect is the efficiency we are having with the use of inputs. When I see these 40 dollars (maybe because the farm is not mine and the money is not mine), I think “with this farm we were very efficient in the use of inputs”. I see it more that way and I think that is the most valuable thing, beyond the money: that we are putting the inputs in the zone where we have to put them. It is a way of using resources much more efficiently and the customer in this case sees it because the platform is very user-friendly. We see an exponential growth that has no limit.
– Why do you think some customers first resist using the tool and then decide to use it?
– I think there are two factors. Perhaps when we presented it to them, we did not have the concepts to do it well and that caused the client some discomfort. And nowadays, it is an exercise that is very well prepared. So, the clients see everything so well incorporated that they feel comfortable and do not feel insecure. And another thing that seems to me to be happening is that older people, who believe that farming is all about shovels and getting dirty and do not understand that farming can be done with a computer, see that their neighbors or their friends are incorporating new technologies. Along with this, they are seeing that yields and input efficiency are much higher. And that it is easy too. Because many times we say “we are going to do variable seeding” and they say “no, why am I going to complicate myself with that?”. And in reality, our customer only has to say yes and we take care of everything else.
– It is not difficult for the clients because they do not need to be experts in technology, they only have to give the advisor the go-ahead.
– Exactly, when they realize that and see that they are only giving us the lead and that we are taking care of everything, and that they are also making a profit… When they realize that, they change their minds, so to speak, and give us the go-ahead. We have not had any case where they have told us “Well, I’ll try it and next year I’ll see” and the following year they said “We didn’t like it”. We have farms where we did the test on 20 hectares and today, they are at 100%. In all the farms where we do precision agriculture, we are at 100%. Once they try it, they go all the way.
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