owadays, every farmer has comfortable access to knowledge about inputs. Knowledge is offered by the trade press, producer and trading companies selling all kinds of inputs, extensive advice from so-called customer advisors with a wealth of knowledge, advertising and information material. In recent years, the internet has emerged as the main source of information on inputs, increasingly also in the form of videos.
If a contracted farmer needs it – client advisors, contract supervisors, will visit; these people often inspect the fields and assist with any necessary advice.
A very good source of knowledge is also the “field days” or “field demonstrations”, where, under real conditions and using live examples, different production scenarios can be compared and experience and knowledge of cultivation, fertilisation, varieties or plant protection can be exchanged. The agricultural fair is a mine of knowledge, especially on the topics of agricultural mechanisation and fertilisation. However, the most important thing is that everyone interested should find there the knowledge that suits their own needs and possibilities.
There are many buyers in the market who may expect specific production methods, e.g. specific agrotechnics from cultivation, sowing, plant protection, to harvesting and storage. Recipients may specify what equipment should be used to preserve the product, what disinfectants should be used to disinfect the warehouse, when to turn over the goods, what temperature and humidity should be maintained in the warehouse, etc.
As a rule, customers on the free market do not specify specific requirements, but expect “goods to be healthy, clean, of merchantable quality, free from foreign odours, free from living and dead pests”, and the relevant standards also specify the content of heavy metals, pesticide residues, mycotoxins, and provisions to this effect are included in contracts. These are basic requirements common in the consumer market. Meeting these requirements is tantamount to implementing consistently implemented procedures for the production and storage of goods, which makes it possible to eliminate the vast majority of their possible defects (e.g. infestation with storage pests, foreign odours, excessive humidity, presence of contaminants of any type).