Field experience: trends in agriculture from an insider's perspective

Agro Napló
Statistical data and market research are not enough: BKT always keeps a genuine and direct connection to farmers who can provide relevant feedback on how farming operations are evolving and on the use of tires in this sector. It follows a progress report telling the experience of a company from Brescia (Northern Italy) renting farming machinery fitted with BKT tires.

BKT supplies the farming company Nodari with tires for a large part of their equipment. The well-established company from Brescia provides service to many local companies, operating mainly as a contractor, especially for biogas plants. Since the company has to satisfy the most varying customer needs and does its job under any operating conditions, it constantly gains first-hand experiences that are indicating a clear change of course over the last few years. BKT has listened to Martino Nodari, the company founder's son, obtaining valuable insight into the evolving world of agriculture:

Equipment has changed, and the spread of biogas has undoubtedly played an important part in this change: this kind of activity requires large lots of land in order to continuously feed the plants; some pieces of land are located at quite a distance from each other. This means that tractors and trailers have to cover greater distances running more kilometers. As a result, tires undergo major wear, and there is a noticeable increase in fuel consumption compared to the past.

Nowadays, farmers are asking for more and more technology, and specialist equipment. As a contractor, of course, we have to adapt to all their requests. Today, every single operation is marked by “Agriculture 4.0” – from land mapping with drones to varied ratio seeding. In order to adapt to such change, we had to invest into new machinery, reaching this way our present equipment fleet consisting of a total of 40 vehicles. By means of the right equipment and the right technology, it is possible to perform the same task spending less, or obtaining major results at the same cost. An example? Two main players in the field of “smart farming” technologies have performed mapping and analyses on fields of 30 hectares. Thanks to the collected date, we have been able to spot the areas to be fertilized and those where seeding is next. We have hence been able to optimize technical means and to maximize crop yields avoiding waste. We know where to push and where you cannot do so. It is important to know every detail of your field to make the most out of its potential. Today, we can obtain and analyze large data quantities, including real-time operations in the fields and land satellite pictures. This enables us to organize our job more effectively than ever.

Martino Nodari knows his onions also about the use of equipment and machinery:

All equipment needs to be chosen carefully and specifically as to the tilling or other operations to be performed. And more than ever, a specific tire is needed for specific applications. If I do lots of transports, I need certain features. Yet, if I am about to prepare the land, I have completely different requirements. Today, one single tire cannot do everything perfectly. For instance, using a wrong tire for road transport significantly increases my hourly costs.

Not to mention inflation pressure! Just four or five years ago, one did not use to check the inflation pressure of fitted tires, since one did not have the adequate knowledge – I dare to say the culture – about its impact on total operating costs. These days, by contrast, inflation pressure is adjusted every time as to the operations to be done, especially for soil tillage. Just five minutes can make a great difference. Inflating, for instance, a BKT tire with VF-technology, i.e. very high flexion, according to the Indian manufacturer's recommendations leads to a better weight distribution, increased traction, no sliding, and you will certainly get faster to the opposite side of the field at reduced fuel consumption.

During six years of cooperation with BKT, the Nodari farming company has step by step increased the number of tires of the Indian brand to equip its vehicles and machinery, up to covering presently about 80% of the entire vehicle and equipment fleet. We have asked Martino Nodari if he could set out the reasons behind his decision:

We had some issues with the tires we were using on trailers. Looking for a solution, we have tried size 560/60 R 22.5 by BKT. Results have been definitely better. And subsequently, we have started to equip also tractors – one after the other. We mainly use BKT Agrimax in the sizes 710/70 R 42, 600/70 R 28 and R 30. We also employ size 800/70 R 38 on some pieces of equipment, since it is larger and does not compact the soil. As I said before, today we need to be specific, and each tire does a specific job. We have chosen the BKT brand because they are top tires, more silent than others, and they are often able to offer something more in terms of output compared to Premium brands. We regularly monitor all our tractors counting the hours when we unfit the tires. At an equal number of operating hours, we have noticed a difference of two euros per hourly cost. Also in terms of assistance, BKT is a reliable brand. Its distributor, Univergomma, is a highly qualified and professional company providing a valid consulting service to identify the right tire for each application in addition to the traditional assistance.

Martino Nodari is a farmer and company owner with a clear business vision on the market and his company's future. He is fully aware of the fact that investing into both technology and staff training is essential for promoting his business in the time to come. The feedback BKT receives from Martino Nodari and other farmers working every day hard in the fields, doing their job full of commitment and passion, is precious expert information and the key to develop state-of-the-art tires that are able to face all challenges in the farming world – today and tomorrow.

Címlapkép: Getty Images
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