Over the last few months, fieldmargin has had the pleasure to work with Olesia from West Ukraine to digitize her farm operation. The farm is situated in the west of Ukraine, 60 km from Lviv.
“We cultivate about 2400 ha of land, we grow wheat, barley, oilseed rape, soya, maize, buckwheat, and sugar beets. Buckwheat is an important regional food in Ukraine and it is essential for a healthy diet. It is high in protein, fiber, Vitamin B6, iron, and magnesium. ”Olesia
Though buckwheat looks like a grain and is commonly called one, it is actually a fruit. A member of the genus Fagopyrum, it is a broad-leaved plant, related to rhubarb and sorrel. Buckwheat flowers also attract honeybees and other pollinators with their morning nectar flow, but they also support healthy populations of smaller beneficial insects.
Using fieldmargin Olesia has digitized her paper farm maps and now has a mobile map that she can view in the field.
“I am so grateful for Alison’s help in providing me with all information on how to organize the process of recording the data. After her explanations, I enjoyed drawing a map of our farm.”
As well as the map and planting records Olesia has been able to use fieldmargin to record fertilizing jobs, schedules of mineral fertilizers, spraying and harvest details. These can all be seen as part of the to-do list on the mobile app and completed work automatically becomes part of the field history.
“The app really helps us to monitor the situation in each field. It is so easy and quick to operate, despite the fact it is in English (most of our workers do not speak English). It is really fantastically useful.”
Olesia has been able to ask for support with fieldmargin via WhatsApp calls and online meetings.
“Each time when I need help Alison is in touch with me by online meetings. We really appreciate what she is doing for us, especially in such a difficult time for us during the war aggression.”
Sharing records with the UK
Using fieldmargin they can record and share records with their owner Martin Jensen, who is based in Norfolk, UK.
“During soviet times our farm used to be a collective farm. After the independence of Ukraine, it collapsed and only some part of the land was cultivated by these old soviet combine harvesters. In 2010, Martin Jensen was driving through our region with a group. They stopped to see how we were working with antique machinery. They then decided to make investments, and Martin became an owner. Martin introduced new technologies to our farm. We got rid of old combine harvesters and imported John Deere, Lexion, New Holland, and Mzuri machinery.”
“We had planned to spread our activities by introducing greenhouse, growing strawberries, and vegetables, but war is stopping us.”
Before the start of the war, Ukraine was steadily increasing its production and export of grain. Ninety-eight percent of Ukrainian agricultural exports were done by sea and only 2% by rail and road. Corn farmers are switching to soybeans as Europe needs a huge amount of soybeans, and for these exports, they do not need access to ports, and they can be transported by rail (SOURCE).
Helping refugees and soldiers
The Russian invasion of Ukraine on 24 February has had repercussions across the globe, but the consequences are felt particularly acutely by the hundreds of thousands of farmers valiantly producing crops.
“As the war started we greatly help our army and as well refugees. There are a lot of them in our village. Martin organized fundraising money in England. That is a real help, and we really appreciate what the English people are doing for us. Their support is enormous.”
Are you a farmer in Ukraine that is interested in digitizing your farm maps and records? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you get started with help documents, 1:1 online demonstrations, and extended use of the PRO subscriptions.