Thanks to its privileged climate, sugarcane can be planted and harvested all year round in the region of the Cauca River Valley in Colombia (Cauca, Valle del Cauca, and Risaralda). However, this agro-climatic condition is not the only factor that has led the region to specialize in this crop and gain a significant advantage over other producer countries.
Adopting specific technologies has been crucial in generating positive changes in sugarcane production processes. By using, harnessing, and adjusting these new technologies, not only has the sector’s improvement and sustainability been favored, but valuable knowledge has been obtained, which today is the key to its competitiveness.
For Engineer Diego Sandoval, Director of Precision Agriculture and GIS at Ingenio Providencia, implementing agricultural technology based on artificial intelligence seemed distant a few years ago because they did not believe that any company could solve the problems Providencia needed to solve, including reducing trampling in harvesters. But his perception changed upon meeting Manglar: “All of their technological part, their capacity, and the human team behind them did change my perspective, by understanding that it was achievable, that we were close, and that there was a Colombian company that could do it.”
Regarding the harvest, “we wanted to be very efficient in reducing trampling and thus avoiding future problems in the ‘suertes’ (in Colombia, a ‘suerte’ is the minimum unit of measure that delimits the area of a sugarcane field). That was where we realized we needed a company like Manglar.”
One of the major changes Manglar has generated for Ingenio Providencia has been in the harvest process. Today it is essential for them to have harvesters with the autopilot system fed by the furrow lines Manglar generates because there is less trampling, fewer damages occur, and the operation has become much more manageable for the operator. The operator no longer has to be aware of the machine’s direction and can focus more on the cut quality and other indicators that require attention. “It has been a significant change in our culture and how we harvest.”
“The automatic tracing precision of furrow lines provided by Manglar is outstanding and is demonstrated daily.” At Ingenio Providencia, they test furrow lines every day because harvesting occurs every day. They find it an appropriate methodology for what they require and seek because “it not only adjusts to the reality of the field but to the reality of the operation. That is also very important. And it is a great indicator that we use the lines daily and have no complaints.”
According to Engineer Sandoval, convincing himself to use Manglar was straightforward. “There is no comparison in the costs of the methodology Manglar uses versus other methodologies. Also, what a drone flight involves is very evident and is an important added value because, with a drone image, you will have a line but a lot of information about the lot or field too.”
Today, Ingenio Providencia considers Manglar a strategic ally due to our changing dynamics regarding the requirements that face the evolution of their precision agriculture area, in addition to managing large volumes of data and developing tools tailored to their needs.
“What we like most about Manglar is their adaptability, their open-mindedness to listen to ideas, their technical team, and the confidence that they have generated through these years when they have said to us, ‘Give me your need, we’ll see how to solve it,’ and they have solved it.”
We want to thank Engineer Diego Sandoval for sharing his experience with us. We are proud to be able to help Ingenio Providencia optimize their production systems by providing valuable information for their operation and decision-making.
At Manglar, we believe the future comes with technological innovation and operations management changes to improve agricultural efficiency for better planting and harvesting.