Mary El Republic – an ecological pure territory
Mary El Republic is located in southeastern Russia. It is known as one of the most ecologically pure territories in the European part of Russia. It has over 300 lakes, 11 major rivers, including the Volga River, and thousands of acres of woods. In fact, it’s no wonder the area is a popular destination for travelers and tourists who enjoy nature.
A difficult region for vegetable farming
The region has long cold winters and warm summers. As a result, the area is most suitable for timber production, wood processing, and the production of meat and milk. Crops, on the other hand, are typically limited to barley, oats, rye, and wheat, with some vegetables thrown into the mix. Specifically in the marshy lowland, which is south of the Volga River, in the western part of the territory.
Good irrigation is key for farming in this region
One of the vegetable producers in that area is Anderey Babushkin, who farms near the village of Penyangash. In addition to crops like potatoes, cabbage, and onions, Babushkin grows sweet corn, tomatoes, carrots, and red beets. He farms on 276 hectares (682 acres) of sandy loam soil. Yet, like many farmers in North America, Babushkin finds it hard to produce a quality crop and a consistent yield without irrigation.
“In the past, I had a few hectares under drip irrigation,” Babushkin explains. “Mostly it was onions and cabbage, and the results were okay … but just okay. Every year is different, of course, but in 2010, we had a bad year. There was a drought and the yield of the potatoes was about 16 tons per hectare. In a perfect year, I could get about 30 tons.”
However, Babushkin found a better solution to both problems in 2011. In that year, he bought two T-L center pivot units from the APH Group. This agricultural equipment business is based in the Netherlands and does business throughout Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and Latin America.
“Now I get about 45 tons of potatoes per hectare (364 hundredweight per acre), no matter the year”, he adds, referring to his T-L units as ‘the king of equipment.’ “The most important thing for me is that I also get higher quality potatoes and the price is better.”