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How years of field trials have helped OneSoil create a better approach to precision ag farming

How years of field trials have helped OneSoil create a better approach to precision ag farming

OneSoil calculates variable rate on your farm to predict and help you attain crop yield gains.

By Andrew Joseph,

OneSoil co-founder Usevalad Henin presented a refreshing reveal of the trials and tribulations of VRA (variable rate technologies) during the 2021 virtual Precision Agriculture Conference & Ag Technology Showcase.

Within the world of precision agriculture, VRA is the “application of a material, such that the rate of application is based on the precise location, or qualities of the area that the material is being applied to.”  

Still unsure what that means? Just know that every field is different, and thus every field should be treated differently.

Not just a blanket statement explaining how VRA technology is the greatest thing since sliced bread—and what was the greatest thing before that?—Henin explained that OneSoil has found that because all fields are created differently, VRA technologies don’t work on every field.

We said it was a refreshing take on the technology…

And yet, he said, OneSoil still has ways of providing advice to a farmer to help them grow more effectively.

OneSoil, headquartered in Minsk, Belarus, was founded by Henin and Slava Mazai. While Mazai would pilot the drone to take photos for farmers, Henin would use the data to create maps for VRA for fertilizer application. The company officially began a few years later in 2017 after Sasha Yakovlev became the third co-founder, as it began utilizing machine-learning algorithms to process the field data.

In 2018, it launched its free OneSoil app, which Hennin said is being used by about 350,000 farmers around the world. Although its foray into the North American market is fairly recent, Henin said that OneSoil covers eight percent of the world’s arable lands. Canada has about one percent of its farmers and the US about two percent currently using the app.

“We delineate field borders,” he noted. “Currently we are doing 141 million fields covering 1-billion hectares.

“Our vision is to implement a step-by-step approach to measuring VRA technology for agricultural companies (customers),” explained Henin.

He made sure the audience recognized that VRA technologies are not infallible. “We did find that not all fields are suitable for VRA technologies to be applied.”

He said that crop peculiarities can affect VRA suitability—some hybrid crops don’t like it, while other hybrids, do, for example. Weather is also unpredictable, and so can skew the best predictions that OneSoil can offer.

We’re all slaves to the whims of Mother Nature.

Still, Henin said that OneSoil can offer an 84 percent accuracy rate in its predictions, odds that even Nostradamus or Kreskin might take.

To learn how OneSoil utilizes its five-step process to predict and prepare farmers for crop yield gains, watch the video below:

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