Ukraine: Large-scale farming

The Agro-Express-Service farming business spans almost 50,000 ha of the Ukraine’s Rivne, Ternopil and Volyn regions. Company deputy director for arable, Volodymyr Shynkaruk, provides an insight into a farming business of this scale to Agroexpert editor Iryna Korchahina 

Which crops do you grow?

The main crop is sugar beet which is grown on 10,000ha. Alongside this there are 4,500ha of oilseed rape, 3,000ha of soy beans, 5,000ha of maize, 6,400ha of wheat, 1,200 ha of winter barley and about 2,500ha of fodder beans. Smaller amounts of spring barley, wheat and soy for seed production are also grown on the farm’s calcareous and podzolic soil.

What is the crop rotation?

Winter cereals – sugar beet – maize – soy beans – cereals. We have fodder crops too but only on a relatively small area of about 300ha. Leguminous crops like fodder beans are sometimes included as well to help boost the soil nitrogen without using chemical fertilizers.

What yields have the crops produced this year?

Wheat averaged 8.4t/ha, winter barley 7.3t/hа and soy beans more than 3t/ha. We ve already started harvesting sugar beet and hope to get 65–70t/hа.

What is the highest yield you have achieved?

For sugar beet about 72t/hа and in winter wheat 9.0t/hа. Two years ago we came close to hitting 9.0t/ha in our winter barley crops. This was an outstanding result because we achieved it, not on one or two hectares, but across thousands of hectares. Next year we hope sugar beet yields will reach 80t/ha and winter wheat at about 10t/ha.

Which crop do you prefer?

Sugar beet because, although it is hard work, it is satisfying to see the results. This year we ll average 60 tonnes/ha which will be processed in our own plant at a throughput of 6,000t/day. The plant has been modernised recently and should produce high quality sugar.

What about cultivations?

Soil is broken up ahead of sugar beet to a depth of about 40cm. With our rotation, that means this kind of tillage is carried out once every three to four years.  Fertilizers are applied at this stage according to the soil levels and we spread 3t/ha of chicken litter. The soil is levelled in spring when the weather allows, using a KPS disc cultivator.

Which of Adama’s crop protection products do you use?

ADAMA has a great portfolio across both herbicide and fungicide groups. For insecticides we use Pyrinex super (chlorpyrifos + bifenthrin) and Lamdex (lambda-cyhalothrin) and are very satisfied with the fungicide Custodia ( azoxystrobin + tebuconazole). And I think nothing beats the herbicide Goltix (metamitron) for sugar beet.

The Agro-Express-Service’s main crop is sugar beet which is grown on 10,000 ha
6,400 ha of wheat are grown
Volodymyr Shynkaruk