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How OneSoil and a Ukrainian Ag Company Created an App That Helps During the War

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Learn about the new OneSoil product and how it helped a Ukrainian agricultural company optimize its resources.

In 2022, we released our new OneSoil Yield app. It's an easy-to-use program for implementing variable-rate application and measuring its effectiveness in specific fields. Here's how it works:
A user proposes to develop a new functionality for OneSoil app_OneSoil Blog
A user proposes to develop a new functionality for OneSoil app_OneSoil Blog
OneSoil Yield helps reduce costs and improve field productivity. The app's technology is based on satellite imagery, proprietary data processing algorithms, and the results of six years of field trials on 200,000 hectares.

How OneSoil Yield increased IMC’s field productivity last season

OneSoil's main partner in the field trials was IMC, one of the ten largest agricultural companies in Ukraine.

How it all began: IMC had the necessary resources to implement precision farming, however the company was looking for more knowledge and experience to correctly identify fields' productivity zones and build prescription maps for variable-rate seeding or fertilizer application. This is where Usevalad Henin, a GIS specialist and one of OneSoil's founders, came in handy.

The first joint trials took place in 2020 on fields totaling 5,000 hectares. They brought IMC a yield increase of 0.12 t/ha when performing variable-rate corn seeding and 0.6 t/ha in high-productivity areas when applying urea at variable rates.
Usevalad Henin and Oleksii Misyura during the 2020 field trials
After seeing the positive result, we continued our precision farming tests. In 2021, we analyzed 1,350 of IMC's fields covering a total area of 116,400 hectares and determined that 36% of them were well-suited for production trials.
How does OneSoil Yield determine if fields are suitable for variable-rate seeding and fertilization? Read the Data Processing section of our guide.
During the 2021−2022 season, we conducted field trials on 152 fields covering 19,600 hectares. These were some of the largest precision farming trials in the world.

Trial results: figures

Our largest-scale trial was on variable-rate seeding of corn and variable-rate urea application for corn.

In each trial, increasing the rate in high-productivity zones resulted in higher yields, while decreasing the rate resulted in lower yields. The trials confirmed the hypothesis that for IMC's fields, it's better to apply more seed and fertilizer in high-productivity zones.

In both experiments, the yield didn't change in low-productivity zones regardless of whether the rate was increased or decreased. It turns out that it's possible to apply fewer seeds and fertilizers in the low-productivity zone of IMC's fields. Doing so doesn't affect yield but does allow money to be saved.
A user proposes to develop a new functionality for OneSoil app_OneSoil Blog
A user proposes to develop a new functionality for OneSoil app_OneSoil Blog
Trial results: conclusions
  • 1
    After analyzing the productivity zones and yield reports for 94% of its fields, IMC learned which fields were suitable for variable-rate application and in which fields it wasn't worth trying.
  • 2
    The company received maps of the productivity zones for each field that was suitable for variable-rate application.
  • 3
    We found that for IMC's fields, more seed and fertilizer should be applied to high-productivity areas, while less should be applied to low-productivity areas.
  • 4
    In other trials, we learned how different corn hybrids responded to variable-rate seeding and determined for which hybrids the seeding rate could be reduced.
  • 5
    We also conducted trials on variable-rate application of soil herbicides and foliar fertilization. In addition to that, we investigated soil reclamation and how tillage methods affected corn yields, compared the results of urea application in spring and autumn, and conducted many other field trials.
The company made over $ 300,000 in profit over the course of the year from variable-rate seeding and fertilizer application. After that, we planned even more extensive trials on applying urea at variable rates. We wanted to increase the experimental area by at least half and test the technology on each potentially suitable field to understand where urea variable-rate application had the greatest yield increase. But then war broke out.

How OneSoil Yield’s technology helped IMC during the war

Oleksii Misyura
Head of Research & Development, IMC
IMC's fields are located in the Chernihiv, Poltava, and Sumy regions, all areas where combat was taking place. In many fields, it was impossible to conduct seeding. In addition, Ukrainian farmers faced serious logistical and financial problems because of the war. The previous year's grain couldn't be sold, and seeds and fertilizers were hard to buy. Nevertheless, the total area of IMC's field trials has increased.

Last year, we found that variable-rate urea application brings the company more profit than variable-rate seeding. We concluded that redistributing fertilizer for different productivity zones in the field works. In the low-productivity zone, you can reduce the rate of urea application and get minimum losses. In the high-productivity zone, you can increase the rate and get maximum profit. Last season's experiments allowed us to calculate how much we could save on urea. As a result, we increased the number of fields with experiments on variable-rate fertilizer application. We did that, first and foremost, so we could reduce the rate of nitrogen fertilizer with minimal losses.

By knowing all fields' productivity zones, we lost much less money than if we had 'removed' urea evenly from the whole field. By rationally distributing urea by productivity zones, we were able to save 200 tons of fertilizer.
As a result, in fields that are suitable for variable-rate application, we either won’t lose profit, or we’ll increase profits.
In 2022, the company conducted trials on variable-rate urea application on 25,000 hectares of fields. On September 23, IMC and OneSoil signed a five-year strategic partnership agreement. Our next step will be to conduct even more extensive experiments to get the maximum yield from IMC's fields.

What do companies and farmers need all this for?

OneSoil Yield provides the same valuable knowledge about your fields to any grower, even those who have never tried seed and fertilizer application by productivity zones. OneSoil Yield automatically determines which of your fields are suitable for variable-rate application, which ones are worth trying, and which ones will fail. It also helps you understand the factors that limit yield in low-productivity areas.

For fields suitable for field trials, the program will automatically distribute application rates and create a prescription map.
A user proposes to develop a new functionality for OneSoil app_OneSoil Blog
Here’s what the prescription map in the OneSoil Yield app looks like
And importantly, it will show numeric representations of how effective the field trial was. The only way to find out is to include control strips in the experiment, and OneSoil Yield will do that for you.
After the experiment, you get a detailed report on how the different zones responded to the variable-rate application and how much yield increased.
All you need is a combine harvester with a yield mapping system and a seeder, fertilizer spreader, or sprayer with the ability to variable-rate option.
  • Oleksii Misyura
    Head of Research & Development, IMC
    Basically, to do precision farming, all you need is a tractor set up to do variable-rate application. It used to be a problem to get the productivity zone maps right. Now OneSoil Yield does that anywhere in the world. You automatically analyze the productivity zones, make a prescription map, remotely upload it from your laptop to the onboard computer, call the operator, tell him what settings to use, and that's it. It's even safer than 'conventional' farming. If you have a tractor that can read a prescription map, you won't have any problems. War is no obstacle for this kind of technology.
3-click solution for perfect variable-rate trials
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