Why Local Agricultural Expertise is Important for SoilCares
SoilCares technology combined with agronomists’ understanding of local agricultural practices is the optimal way to create the best soil fertility solutions.
Robbert Ausems, Global Business Development Manager at SoilCares, explains the importance of agronomists’ understanding of local agricultural practices and how their knowledge and SoilCares technology complement each other.
Robbert, you have experience in the agriculture industry and you have talked to agronomists from different countries. What are they generally thinking about Dutch agricultural expertise?
“Being a Dutch company is certainly an advantage for SoilCares. The Dutch are known internationally for being successful in the agriculture industry and widely considered as experts in the agriculture business. Even though the Netherlands is a small country, we manage to achieve high yields due to proper soil fertility management. Moreover, the University in Wageningen has become the leading agriculture university in the world and this further strengthens our country image as an expert in agriculture.”
Why do you believe that technology developed by SoilCares and local expertise should complement each other?
“SoilCares soil testing technology does not do everything an agronomist can do. Agronomists are able to see differences in the field, in the climate. They have understanding of irrigation systems and of course, they know local best practices. They cannot be replaced by technology. What we do with our technology is helping agronomists do their job more efficiently. We help them understand soil better, we give them a tool to make their life a bit easier.”
Why is combining local expertise with SoilCares technology so important in your opinion?
“In the Netherlands we have access to soil testing and high level agricultural information. With our technology we want to make this available in other countries as well. However, we realize that farmers and agricultural holdings worldwide have decades of experience and deep understanding of local factors that we are not familiar with. Let’s take Ukraine as an example. They are the world’s leader in grain production. They also have high level of knowledge; local agronomists are acquainted with typical Ukrainian strategies and approach to agriculture business. We focus on the combination - a mixture of our solutions and local agricultural knowledge.”
Are there many differences in agricultural practices from country to country?
“Of course. When it comes to agriculture every specific area has its own ways of doing business, its own methods of soil management, fertilization and harvesting. We need to consider these differences and adapt our system so that we can meet the expectations of our clients worldwide.”
Can you give an example of differences between Ukraine and the Netherlands?
“For instance, in the Netherlands we are used to doing one soil analysis per 5 hectares. In Ukraine this is difficult to achieve because the fields are much bigger. I learned that they are taking one soil sample per 10 hectares. We need to adapt to this local situation. We cannot apply Dutch standards to the Ukrainian market. One sample from 5 hectares is not feasible for big scale Ukrainian agro-holdings. Furthermore, they are used to applying different types of fertilizers and there are differences in the types of fertilizers available on the market. That is why at SoilCares we always customize our fertilizer recommendations per country and make sure we recommend a fertilizer that clients can actually purchase in their region.”
Our technology combined with local expertise is a key success factor for effective soil management
It is clear that SoilCares technology can bring enormous benefits to farmers and agro-holdings worldwide. Our soil testing solutions provide useful information about the soil’s actual nutrient needs and recommended fertilizers. However, optimal soil management is achieved when our technology is combined with the agricultural knowledge of local agronomists.