Planning tools reduce the effects of climate change on agricultural production.

Today, it is possible to examine and simulate a variety of unexpected events while coming up with effective responses for each one.

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11 November 2022

Although they are crucial for agricultural output, the majority of weather influences are unavoidable. Not by accident, the most recent Rural Producer Habits Survey, performed by the Brazilian Association of Rural Marketing and Agribusiness, revealed that the weather was farmers' top concern (ABMRA). However, even if they are unable to prevent the unexpected, technological advancements have made it easier for agricultural managers and producers to be ready for challenging circumstances, such as droughts, erratic rainfall, hailstorms, or severe winds. 

"There are many factors that need to be taken into consideration while studying climate variability. Planning systems have offered predictability that makes it easier to reduce undesirable consequences to enable this follow-up. Although this benefit does not prevent accidents, it does enable you to resolve disputes swiftly and keep operations running smoothly,” explains Bernardo de Castro, President of Hexagon's Agriculture division, which develops digital solutions for the agricultural and forestry sectors. 

Planning of planting operations with simulation of potential problems

Prior to the start of production, the needs of a planting space can be identified using historical data along with the establishment of operational criteria and limits. In order to determine the optimal planting strategy, including the best types, locations, and seasons for the operation, specialised software evaluates the field areas and examines all feasible alternatives for the situation at hand. As a result, the costs for inputs, equipment, and labor are estimated together with the viable yield curves. 

With this kind of programming, you may also think about and even simulate obstacles and hypotheses that might come up while carrying out tasks in the field. "This enables the management to quickly adapt to a more efficient production environment, free from needless expenditures, and with the company's inventory and cash on hand to meet anticipated requests,” ensures Bernardo. 

Reprogramming harvesting as needed

Furthermore, with the help of cutting-edge tools, it is now feasible to create a harvest plan that takes into account variables like expected production per area, ripening curves, regional dispersion, weather predictions, and even industry demand. The most economical solutions are tested and verified using linear programming methods, and they also suggest the best planning.

"HxGN AgrOn Harvest Planning analyses, simulates, and presents options for each unforeseen scenario. From the beginning to the completion of the harvest, the software is able to monitor results, reschedule tasks, and modify operations in response to changing conditions,” points out the president of Hexagon's Agriculture division.

This onboard harvesting device helped a sugar cane mill in Ribeiro Preto (SP) increase Total Recoverable Sugar by an average of 1.6%. (ATR). This translates to 5,564,000 kg more ATR in the crop at a mill that mills 2.6MM tons annually, which represents a gain of almost BRL 3.5 million. 

More predictability for the field

Over the past few years, meteorology has undergone a considerable evolution that has benefited farming. Climate-related information is now readily available considerably early and with greater assertiveness. Additionally, it is simpler to acquire this data and cross-reference it with other data using the field-relevant technologies.

Nevertheless, predictability in the sector is no longer just a matter of timing. While assessing meteorological phenomena and conditions is still crucial for business owners and rural producers, technological advancements and easier access to data have made it possible for a number of different prediction-oriented solutions to emerge.

In this aspect, there is a lot to look forward to from technology in the upcoming years. We will increase predictability through sensing, resource integration, and intelligent data analysis, which will help with effective planning and execution of agricultural operations,” emphasises Bernardo de Castro.