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Acron Group Presents Results of New Durum Wheat Project

Acron Group, one of the leading producers of mineral fertilisers in Russia and worldwide, and its partners jointly presented the results of field tests aimed at developing the best technology for cultivating durum wheat for high-quality pasta.

The Group signed a cooperation agreement at the 2019 Golden Autumn agro-industry trade show with a pool of partners, joining the Southeast Agriculture Research Institute, Timiryazev Agricultural Academy, Amazone Eurotechnika, Barilla Rus, and Syngenta.

Under the project, Acron Group developed a plant nutrition scheme and provided its domestically produced fertilisers. The Southeast Agriculture Research Institute conducted trials of several wheat varieties on plots at its 32-ha site in Saratov region. Timiryazev Agricultural Academy performed agro-environmental monitoring of the field tests as part of a recently-launched project ‘Agrotechnologies of the Future’. Syngenta developed procedures for protecting the test crops using its protecting agents. Amazone Eurotechnika provided technical support and equipment from world-leading producer Amazone. Barilla Rus will test the cultivated grain for quality.

The three-factor field test was focused on a comparison of 88 combinations of modern varieties of spring durum wheat and varying doses of complex mineral fertilisers and environmentally friendly plant protection products. The Acron Group’s feeding system increased the yield of spring durum wheat 20-59%, depending on variety (Saratovskaya Zolotistaya: 20%, Valentina: 40%, Nikolasha: 46%, and Luch 25: 59%).

Sergey Gaponov, Director of the Southeast Agriculture Research Institute, noted, ‘This test busted the myth about the economic inexpediency of using fertilisers for wheat. We see yields of up to two tonnes per hectare without fertilisers, just relying on the natural fertility of southern chernozem soil, which has a humus content of 2 to 3%. By applying 170 kg/ha of NPKS (22-15-0-7) during sowing and 35 kg/ha of AN during tilling, we are able to harvest three tonnes of high-quality wheat per hectare. This delivers very acceptable yields in the conditions of the southern right-bank microzone of Saratov region. On the domestic market, that translates to a profit of RUB 18,500 per hectare from the use of intensive technologies’.

Chairman of Acron’s Board of Directors Alexander Popov commented, ‘By cooperating with leading companies and scientific institutions, we were able to resolve a number of practical issues in R&D format and conduct a series of important scientific experiments that ultimately are aimed at ensuring food security in Russia’.

The research project will continue in 2021, expanding to the right-bank districts of Saratov region and including new varieties and new types of fertilisers.