An agricultural consultant from Paraguay shares how OneSoil helps control weeds_Cover_OneSoil Blog

"The OneSoil app has helped us save $100 per ha."

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An agricultural consultant from Paraguay shares how OneSoil helps control weeds
Weeds are a common problem on farms in Paraguay. Ricardo Rodríguez, a commercial engineer and agricultural consultant, helps find them in time and introduces farmers to software that can make their work in the fields easier. We spoke with Ricardo about how OneSoil can help find weeds and save his customers time and money.
Weeds are a common problem on farms in Paraguay. Ricardo Rodríguez, a commercial engineer and agricultural consultant, helps find them in time and introduces farmers to software that can make their work in the fields easier. We spoke with Ricardo about how OneSoil can help find weeds and save his customers time and money.
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Scouting and notes
Monitor plant vegetation and leave notes for field problem areas. Both in the mobile app for Android and iOS and the web app.
— Tell us what you do and how you assist farmers in Paraguay.

— I'm an agricultural consultant at GEOBIP. Our company provides business consulting, marketing, and recordkeeping services for agricultural companies. Our clients are family farms that grow soybeans and corn. Their fields range from 400 to 600 ha in area. Each field is monitored by an agronomist, a farm manager, and 4 or 5 employees. Our clients' fields cover a total area of approximately 8,000–10,000 ha.
Ricardo at work_OneSoil Blog
Ricardo at work
I support farmers at different stages of the growing season. For example, I track the NDVI index in their fields and take soil samples in parts of the field with anomalies. The farm's agronomist then uses this data to control weeds and prevent plant diseases.

— What are the most common problems your clients face?

— Weeds are the main problem. But, thanks to the vegetation index update in the OneSoil app every 3–5 days, we can control them. For example, we kept finding weeds in the same areas of the farm for two consecutive seasons. The OneSoil app lets us identify problem areas in the field more quickly, take action, and no longer risk as much yield.
OneSoil web app_OneSoil Blog
OneSoil web app 2_OneSoil Blog
Parts of Field A show a much higher NDVI than the field's average index. Herbicides in those higher NDVI areas were applied. As we can see in the second screenshot, this wasn't necessary for Field B
Here's an example of how to control weeds using the OneSoil app. There are two fields in the screenshots above. Parts of Field A show a much higher NDVI than the field's average index. We found weeds and applied herbicides in those higher NDVI areas. As we can see in the second screenshot, this wasn't necessary for Field B.

Similarly, we analyzed the vegetation index in all of this farm's other fields and applied plant protection products to areas of the field with problems or at risk of crop diseases. Previously, farmers applied plant protection products evenly throughout the field, which wasted a lot of time and money.

I was surprised that we could use the OneSoil app for free. We used to subscribe to similar Brazilian, Argentinian, and Spanish services, but they were expensive. On average, we had to pay $1-2 per ha to process satellite imagery. The OneSoil app updates the vegetation index more often, which means we can immediately head to the area of the field we need to go to. That way, we save both money and time.

— How long have you been using the OneSoil app, and what other app features do you use?

— We began using OneSoil in 2020 to track the NDVI index. Before that, we used to have ArcGIS or QGIS. For those, we had to download images from satellites and process them, which was very time-consuming. With the OneSoil app, we check the vegetation index daily in both the mobile and web apps, and we don't have to download any images. We also add notes to mark areas with weeds.
Thanks to the OneSoil app, you don't need to spend time processing satellite images yourself. The app immediately shows the NDVI maps calculated from the images.
OneSoil Scouting mobile app_OneSoil Blog
The mobile app is also available offline, which makes it possible to add notes while in the field.
— Could you share a case when the OneSoil app was especially helpful?

— This year, we had problems with soybean crops in part because of weeds. We used to find areas like that 5–7 days after the weeds appeared. But this time, thanks to OneSoil, we identified problem areas as soon as they appeared. As a result, we were able to reduce expenses related to plant protection products and the number of people doing field scouting. The OneSoil app has helped us save $100 per ha on average.

— Do your customers use the OneSoil app or other similar apps?

— I always recommend the OneSoil app to farmers and help them understand how to use its features. However, from what I see, over 70% of farmers are far from using new technologies. They don't track NDVI, don't understand maps for variable-rate seeding, and don't use variable-rate fertilizer application. On the other hand, the young generation of farmers is really engaged in agricultural technologies.
Ricardo in the field_OneSoil Blog
NDVI makes it easy to determine the order that fields should be harvested in. The field with the lowest vegetation index should be harvested first.
— In your view, how will agriculture develop in Paraguay?

— Paraguay has vast agricultural potential, though there are some challenges. Farmers are used to delegating work to agricultural consultants. On the one hand, farmers learn to use technologies like the OneSoil app and monitor their crops remotely. But on the other hand, they don't follow all the recommendations the consultants give them. So, our goal is to convince them of the benefits of apps like OneSoil and techniques like variable-rate seeding and fertilizer application.Organic farming is also becoming increasingly popular in Paraguay. Such farms mainly grow bananas, onions, potatoes, and garlic for the domestic market. They own small fields, ranging from 4 to 20 ha. We also use the OneSoil app for these farms, for example, to track the NDVI.

Interview held by Stepanоva Catherine
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