Blog

Farmer Tõnis
  • I insured my spring barley and oats
    Post created in collaboration with EURORISK Available in Estonia and Latvia The drought conditions of recent years have made me wonder if there’s a way to mitigate my risks. Canadian and US YouTubers I’ve been following, who have suffered from severe droughts for years, have indicated that thanks to insurance, they are still active in
  • Valtra Q305 – Have I Been Unfair? 
    Prologue  I must admit right away that when I hear the tractor brand Valtra, the first thing that comes to mind is, “Oh, that’s the Finnish Belarus.” Definitely very unfair, but people are subjective creatures, and once a phrase catches on, it tends to live its own life regardless of its accuracy.  So, it was
  • Does Farmer Tõnis vote?
    The European Parliament elections are underway, and in this picture, I am voting electronically, as is customary in Estonia. Estonia has been using electronic voting since 2005, so I have NEVER been to a polling station; I probably wouldn’t know how to behave there 😀  Nine parties are participating in the European Parliament elections in
  • Winter Crops After Winter and Nitrogen levels
    Winter Crops Fertilization Although I boasted about how I wanted to start fertilizing immediately when the law allows (March 21), the first granules actually went on the field on April 9. Why? Surprise, surprise, but the cold and wet spring didn’t allow starting earlier; the fields simply couldn’t support the machinery. As if weather has
  • What’s the case? My experience with the Case IH Optum 270 
    *Partnership dislcaimer! This tractor was a demo unit for some work hours and then I rented it for a remainder of the hours* I have been running my grain farming business since 2011, and in my company, we have only had the blue tractors from the CNH corporation. Throughout all this time and even before,
  • I Currently Have the Most Advanced Winter Rape in Estonia*
    *These three plants that grew in my basement. Those who have been following me for a long time know that after the New Year, Estonia was hit by a cold wave, when the temperature dropped below -25 degrees for several days. Of course, there was a significant thaw in Estonia before the New Year, which
  • The cost of destroyed winter oilseed rape for the farmer
    The inspiration to write came from one follower and what I consider to be a catastrophic situation for winter crops in Western and Southern Estonia. My small information gathering has revealed that over 90% of winter rapeseed and over 80% of winter barley fields have been destroyed. Additionally, there have been signals of poor winter
  • Cultivation of Cover Crops – My Experiment in Sowing
    While my previous post talked about the difficult financial situation in agriculture, I wouldn’t be a farmer if I threw in the towel at the first sign of trouble. To alleviate the current situation, I’m trying to find solutions to generate income and reduce costs. I have joined eAgronom’s carbon program, where I am trying
  • Farmer’s Mental Health
    If you’re experiencing depression or other mental health concerns, seek help from professionals! I was inspired to write by a recent question from a salesman who didn’t even come to sell me tractors and farming tools, “How do you feel mentally?”. Such questions are not often asked or have they been asked at all?! As
  • What are these farmers constantly complaining about?
    According to Statistics Estonia, the average gross salary in Estonia was €887 in 2012, and in 2023, it will be in the range of €1868. A rise of 110%. A loaf of bread, whose main component is wheat flour, cost €0.44 in 2012, and in 2024, the same product costs €0.95. A rise of 110%.
  • What became of my winter rapeseed indoors?
    Preface – After New Year’s, the temperature dropped steadily for several days and nights to -25 degrees Celsius. The snow cover on the rapeseed was only 2-5cm thick. Winter rapeseed is considered quite sensitive to cold, and temperatures as low as -15 degrees Celsius can be fatal to the plant (growth heap). My winter rapeseed
  • 2024 challenges: Cost-Effective Fertilization
    As I don’t have animals (manure), mineral fertilizers serve as my primary source of plant nutrients. Impressions from the “Northern Roots” forum suggests that plants can obtain necessary nutrients from the soil’s existing supply, eliminating the need for additional fertilization. Can I reach that goal of sustainable agriculture? Perhaps someday, but the year 2024 will
  • 2024 climate challenges
    St. Anthony’s Day has passed, and half of winter is over. It’s time to prepare more seriously for the new season. Winter Little snow was followed by a -25°C cold snap on winter crop fields in early 2024. Temperatures fluctuate significantly – one day it’s -20, and the next day it’s thawing. Thaws turn the
  • How has winter been for rapeseed so far?
    This year I planted two varieties: The sowing was done using the Horsch Focus. Why? I believe that my own Horsch Pronto wouldn’t handle winter barley straw well; the seeds would end up in the straw instead of the soil, meaning the beginning of crop growth would already be compromised. In August, the start of
  • Consequences of Winter Crops Failure
    The farmer’s greatest fear is the loss of winter crops, which can occur for various reasons: Why do farmers fear the failure of winter crops? Winter crops spend a long time in the field (e.g., winter rapeseed – 365 days, winter wheat – 330 days), maximizing the use of available moisture and nutrients. Spring crops
  • 3 ways to move the soil or not at all?
    Basics at first Plowing – Soil cultivation depth from 20cm. The most intensive way to cultivate the land. Plowing has been practiced for about as long as agriculture itself has existed. Despite the millennia, plowing has remained essentially the same – before a new sowing, the soil is turned over, meaning the lower layer of
  • Winter Crops and Weather
    When spring crops experience below freezing temperatures, the sap in the plant cells freezes, cells burst, and the plant dies. Winter crops on the other hand: What I see is the most important when growing winter crops in Estonia In my opinion, the most crucial factor is the sowing time, and it overshadows everything else
  • Let`s Talk About Weather
    Weather Forecast and Why It’s So Important for Farmers I’ll explain a bit about the weather forecast and its importance for a farmer.Essentially, the planning of almost all agricultural activities is based on the weather forecast.Estonian meteorologists have stated that they can accurately predict the weather for the next couple of days; for 7-10 days,
  • Hi!
    I have been active on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/farmer.tonis/) for some time now, but since the character limit for posts is restricted there, and I enjoy writing, I decided that alongside Instagram, I should also have a website to blog and elaborate on my thoughts. Why am I doing this? I have been professionally involved in cereal