On a European scale, Lithuania is already a raw material, says A. Milašius, who runs a company that works on about 1,900 hectares of land and has a dairy farm of about one and a half thousand cattle. He bases his words on several arguments, including small, you can with other EU countries, pesticides and other substances useful on farms. The words of the interlocutor are best illustrated by the innovations implemented in the company of his own manager, which allow him to work both more productively and more sustainably.
Generously invests in innovation
“Investing in animal monitoring systems last year are sensors that record their movements and other parameters, such as allowing to determine when the best time to inseminate. In the past, these measures were quite primitive, we could only predict the oestrus approximately. And now – almost an hour apart, ”says A. Milašius about the innovation.
To the surprised people of the city, he wants it: this technology saves time, there is no need to wait for the next cycle, it works more efficiently. In addition, the sensors monitor the functioning of the animal’s digestive system, which allows you to adjust feeding plans, a diet that is very balanced – up to 30 ingredients.
The farm is equipped with extremely convenient pre-milking disinfection technologies, and a modern milking parlor is installed. Currently, a robot is being installed on the farm, which must be in time to deliver the feed to the animals – it will no longer be necessary to do it with a tractor-distributor. Who will oversee the robot and its software? “The company from which we buy the opportunity takes care of and services, a lot is done at a distance,” checks the farm manager.
“We raise the drones as well, we inspect the fields, but this is no longer new,” A. Milašius modestly.
The head of Kepaliai says: all these innovations are a solid investment of the economy. And the most important result is that on the farm for a person to work in a car, productivity is higher. At the same time, innovation is hitting the Green Course – it’s much easier than just reading strategies.
Timely implementation of solutions
The company realized that they need to be innovative and how many times more productive a few years ago, says Simonas Greičius, director of the Labūnava agricultural company in Kėdainiai district.
“We have implemented our solutions, and then we see that the Green Course is catching up. Our actions were on the topic, ”laughs S. Greičius. Seriously adds that if it were not for the company’s previous performance-oriented solutions, it would no longer be possible to fix it, because there would simply be a shortage of competent employees. “
The head of Labūnava says that people who no longer want to work on the farm, even if they are offered 1,500 euros in their hands during the great agricultural season. It goes without saying that all salaries in the company – with all taxes.
“In winter, 900 euros in hand, the last two times it was 1500 euros. But people say we don’t want to work on weekends, in the evenings. But this is not always the case. Let’s say that mowing – if it has already started, it is seven days – teaches S. Greičius. – When money is not motivated, we look for other ways: we improve the environmental infrastructure, organize trips, excursions, etc. Decisions come by themselves. By the way, new equipment is purchased free of charge. The more productive and smart we work, the easier it is for people to promise free weekends. “
The interviewee names what the company has already acquired: milking robots – currently has four, dreams of about ten, two self-propelled sprayers, smart fertilizers, modern combines. He encourages that even a complex hardware company does not need an IT department: “A person who pays by sending a photo on a smartphone, opening a video and writing on Facebook can learn to use modern agricultural machinery.”
The number of employees in Labūnava has dropped drastically over the last few years, not because they have been laid off. “It simply came to our notice then. Some younger people voluntarily left for other activities or because the tolerance for alcohol at work is zero, S. Greičius opens. – And when it comes to very young people, from the age of ten remain one another. This is also the result of the wrong attitude of the government towards the village. “
According to Greicius, the EU Green Course dictates certain guidelines for companies, but they naturally take the actions that the EU strategy directs.
“It seems to me that many farms in Lithuania work in that direction, but do not think about it. There are fears of some unknown in the future, but on closer inspection we are about 80 percent. I am already on the Green Course.
Modern technology, precision spraying and fertilization, increased animal welfare with milking robots – everything is sustainable. We don’t even harm earthworms, and we keep stubble for partridges for the winter – aren’t we sustainable? It is possible to implement it more for the sake of efficiency, but in the end everything leads to the goals of greenery and sustainability, ”S. Greičius says with enthusiasm.
Prof. Dr. Astrida Miceikienė, Chancellor of the Vytautas Magnus University Academy of Agriculture
“Digitization is taking place in all businesses, including agriculture, and will inevitably be linked to the EU’s Green Course. Already in Lithuania there are many advanced agricultural companies and farmers who use digital business and cost management technologies, virtual cooperations, modern technologies, robots. The Internet of animals and plants is emerging – a technology where a digital device provides the most important information about the condition of an animal, similarly in crop production – equipment in some other places transmits data about the business management program. Drones are becoming more and more intense – scientists predict that in the future about 80 percent. the concentration of the industrial drone market in this agricultural area.
Innovation is already being implemented at all stages of the agricultural and food production chain. Digitization, robotization allows you to precisely adjust the amount of raw materials and materials used, reduces the need for manual labor. Over the next 10 years, autonomous equipment is forecasted to be procured – smart tractors, etc., which will no longer need to be driven. All these innovations increase the productivity and competitiveness of agricultural entrepreneurs.
Both in Lithuania and in the world, we are no longer talking about farmers, but about agribusiness management, which is characterized by new competencies: data analysis and management, integrated management of risks and systems. Different business models emerge and are no longer supplied, large or small farms, how much land is worked or what number of animals are available. After all, insect farms, for example, have emerged – a great new example of a niche. I believe that both large and small market participants will find such niches.
The changes are really rapid and significant. As early as the 20th century. employee productivity was needed, now completely different – the focus is on increasing the knowledge of skilled workers and introducing innovation. The whole of the common agricultural policy should address this. “