Remarks of participants of International conferences

Participants of No-Till Conference at Agro-Soyuz, 2012

Ildus ValeyevIldus Valeyev, Head of development of farming, Ministry of agriculture, Tatarstan:

— This is our first visit to Agro-Soyuz. There are 17 people from Tatarstan here. They are farmers and representatives of the Ministry. A week before the conference a delegation from Agro-Soyuz visited Tatarstan. We’ve agreed on launching some pilot projects on adoption of resource-saving technologies on several farms in our republic. Also at that time we decided to go to Mayskoye village to attend the conference with the managers of farms where No-till pilot project will be implemented.

I have two purposes of participation: to understand philosophy of people that use No-till technology and to convince myself that this system really works. We are facing several challenges that urge us to convert to alternative farming technologies, they include disparity of prices on agricultural inputs and agricultural products (I think this is also applicable to Ukraine) as well as difficult climatic conditions of Tatarstan.

We (Ministry of Agriculture of Tatarstan) do our best to be useful for our farmers. I spend up to 200 days per year visiting different farms; I personally know the majority of farm managers and chief agronomists of our farms. We have annual educational events for our farmers, advanced training courses and workshops. So, I think that knowledge and experience obtained at the conference will boost development of agriculture in our republic.

Aybek TulgenovAybek Tulgenov, Head of Laboratory at Research and Scientific Institute n.a. Barayev, Kazakhstan:

— We study the issues of farming, crop production and wheat production. We are very much interested in new technologies and we need additional information on No-Till.

We have plenty of land, our climate is dry that’s why No-till is very important for us. This technology is intensively adopted in Kazakhstan now; it is implemented on big area. Many farms have already converted to it. Consequently, we are interested in all types of information about No-till and preferably, first-hand information.

Here you can listen to farmers from Latin America, Brazil and Argentina. They’ve been using zero-tillage for a long time. Their experience is very interesting for us. Ukrainian experience is also valuable.

Yuri UshureluYuri Ushurelu, representative of Agriculture support project, Moldova:

— Our delegation here consists of two groups: representatives of the Ministry of Agriculture and representatives of IFAD project. This project is supported by the government of Moldova and European Fund residing in Italy. The project includes a program, which is aimed to promote resource and energy-saving technologies in Moldova, i.e. No-Till and Mini-Till. This year 4 demonstration plots have started their operation. They will be a sort of production sites, where any farmer can come and see which technologies are implemented during a specific time period, which field operations are performed, which machines and equipment are used and what the energy consumption is when using this or that technology and/or machinery.

We travel a lot, we look at who does what and which results they reap. We like the conference at Agro-Soyuz, its structure — from larger things to details, from general things to specific. This is what we like. Waiting time is over. Land is land and it requires quick and efficient actions, transition to other technologies. If we do not do this now, we will (and I want to emphasize it) find ourselves in a disastrous situation.

This is very important for us. And the composition of our delegation proves it. You just think of it, the Advisor of the Minister is here and farmers and a group of 5 scientists that represent different agricultural institutes. In Moldova we are very serious about agriculture and I am sure that if we meet in a year and a half, for example, we’ll see a different situation.

No-Till ConferenceValery Karasev, Founder of Maize Agro LLC, Rostov region, Russia;

Alexander Filev, Founder of 21st century LLC, Rostov region, Russia:

— This is not our first time at Agro-Soyuz. We attended the schools and conferences. First of all we are interested in communication with like-minded people and obtaining new information. Communication with peers and experts is very valuable. In general the aura of Agro-Soyuz makes you feel comfortable. And it is known: what you expect, you’ll get it. These conferences are very important and people do not waste time coming here two and more times. We appreciate the efforts of organizers. You’re doing something very important. You know, some of things you just grab and put into a «moneybox». Useful things will always be needed. There are no books or recipes. What you have is experience of others, but their working conditions seem to be different. But when you face a problem, this is a good time to recall everything what you’ve heard before and everybody whom you’ve talked to. Because somebody has already dealt with a similar problem. Somebody’s experience may be bigger and richer.

Yuri YurovskikhYuri Yurovskikh, Chief agronomist of Rassvet LLC, Kurgan region, Russia:

 Our farm was founded recently, in 2010. We a producing crops and farm 17500 ha. Our dominating crops are wheat, canola, barley and peas. The technologies that we implement include zero- and minimum tillage. This was initially our principle position to refuse conventional technology.

If we speak about effectiveness of No-till, it is our third year that we seed under this technology. We’ve not even finished the full cycle of the crop rotation. However, when we planted our grain crops under No-till during an extremely dry year which affected CIS countries — remember, Russia suffered from lots of fires — the yield on these fields was 30% higher than on minimum tillage fields.

We visited Agro-Soyuz in 2004 during the very first No-till conference. And we are here again after some time. We want to hear about the changes that happened during this time, new trends and approaches, listen about experience of our colleagues from other countries.

Nikolay Kiktenko, farmer, MoldovaNikolay Kiktenko, farmer, Moldova:

— I have a small farm and I’ve been producing crops for more than 10 years already. I use Mini-Till. This is my first time at Agro-Soyuz. There are many of us from Moldova here: representatives of the Ministry of agriculture, scientists and farmers. Our climate is similar to Ukraine; we experience same problems — water deficit and erosion...

Adoption of No-Till is very important for everybody. I think that’s why so many farmers came to Dnepropetrovsk region from different corners of the world. Some of them covered several thousand kilometers, left their farms where their presence may be needed round the clock. Nobody forced them. It is life that pushes you to alternative technologies; we’ll not survive otherwise. It’s a pity that governments of some CIS countries including Ukraine are so reluctant to adopt resource-saving technologies. Waiting is not good for the country; there is an acute need to change approaches to farming.

The theoretical day (the first day) was very good. The speakers were not well-groomed scientists, which are far away from real production, but real farmers. There is a good expression — brothers-in-arms — and today we listened to real brothers-in-arms, who achieved everything on their own, they experienced all those problems of searching themselves and made a great contribution to No-till promotion all over the world.

I want to say thank you to organizers and the whole team of Agro-Soyuz that put a lot of efforts to make this conference happen. Everything was at the top level. And if an extra loaf of bread appears in each of the countries, represented here in Mayskoye, this will partially be a merit of Agro-Soyuz.