(Jesus, their father, and Hector from left to right in the first picture)
"A lot of people wonder if my brothers have gone crazy, working pretty much from Monday to Sunday," says Jesus Ruelas, the co-founder of a Mexican agri-business company, which was started and run by three brothers: Jesus, Hector, and Jose.
"There has been a lot of rain recently. When the rain stops, farmers want to take advantage of the limited time to do farm work. Thus the demand for sales and demo goes up," explained Jesus about his brothers' busy working hours.
The long-anticipated rain significantly relieved the country from a severe drought that impacted around 70% of the land in the first half of the year, rendering more than half of the biggest 210 dams across Mexico to a capacity of less than 50%, according to El Pais.
“The reservoirs in Sinaloa are going back to normal, now registering somewhere between 50% and 75% of their capacity. With that percentage, farmers can water their crops,” said Jesus.
To mitigate the influence of unstable and changing climate on crops, farmers mix varieties up or switch to crops that require less water.
“I am pretty confident that things will look up after the rainy season. We’re always hopeful. We think we’re going to have a good harvest next year.”
When the topic switched to auto steer, he told us a unique story about the values agritech delivered.
“There are two groups of farmers we work with in Mexico: farmers who own 20-60 hectares of land and farmers who own 80 hectares or more. Farmers who own the smaller number do farm work by themselves, saving time by using auto steer to deliver precise work, without having to hire people. The farmers who own larger patches rely on workers for farm work. But due to the unstableness of the workers — some skip workdays or some make technical errors in the field, farm owners have to tolerate inconsistency and inaccuracy. With auto steer, anyone with training beforehand can deliver precision from pass to pass. Another reason why farmers love auto steer is that it’s pretty hot in summer here in Sinaloa. Sometimes it reaches up to 40 degrees Celsius in the daytime. Imagine working in that heat! With auto steer, they can work in comfort at night. They don’t need sunlight to know that the farm work is done in a good way.”
Working hard already in presenting roadshows and giving training courses to resellers, the family company also spares no effort to serve their customers.
“In the Mexican market, people are not used to DIY. They need support for installation, calibration, and operation. In the agricultural sector, a lot of farmers have limited access to the Internet. Thus, videoconferencing is not an option. We sometimes have to make phone calls or even drive hundreds of kilometers to farmers’ fields to help them with troubleshooting or system upgrade.”
As of September 27th, 3,077 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in Mexico nationwide. When asked if the ongoing pandemic had been affecting the farming world, Jesus said, “Retail, catering, tourism, and theaters are the hardest-hit sectors. Farmers keep on plowing, seeding, harvesting, and living their lives. They are not affected as much as people from other industries. Actually, we’re well-positioned in the market right now. With our great services and competitive pricing, we’re sure that we can serve Mexican farmers better and change the game as a tough player.”
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