Poland

Różański business, Poland

About the business

Started in

1978

About the business

Agriculture
Contractor
Haulage

Livestock

-

Personnel

30 employees, around 40 during the season

Area under cultivation

Own farm: 800 hectares
Contracting work: 2,000 hectares

Crops/rotation

Wheat, triticale, rape, lupins, barley, oats, catch crops

Soil type

Sand

Annual rainfall

Around 550 mm

Machinery

XERION 3300 TRAC VC

AXION 950, 920, 850

AXION 810

ARION 640, 620

LEXION 770, 2x 670

TUCANO 440

MEGA 204

JAGUAR 870

SCORPION 9040, 7035

QUADRANT 3200, 2200

About Poland

Population

38.5 million

Area

312,679 km² (31.2 million hectares / 77.0 million acres)

Area under cultivation

Approx. 14.6 million hectares (36.1 million acres)

Number of farms

1.429 million

Average farm size

10.2 ha (25 acres)

"We were the first to have our own combine harvester."

 

In Poland, a business like the Różański firm is still unusual. Even now, Polish agriculture is dominated by a large number of small farms, mainly located in the south and east of Poland. Farms with about 5 hectares of land still  account for 52% of all farms. There are historical reasons for this. Polish farming has experienced three main phases: during reconstruction in the 1940s the upper limit for private ownership in the new settlement areas was set at 15 hectares for arable land and 20 hectares for livestock farms. In some regions, the upper ownership limit was just five hectares and the rest of the land was in state hands. The end of the 1940s and beginning of the 1950s saw further development of state farms and, at the same time, collectivisation of the small farms into agricultural cooperatives. The first signs of a relaxation of the private economic sector started to appear in 1957, and from 1990 the state farms were broken up, followed by privatisation and consolidation of Polish agriculture in preparation for Poland's entry into the European Union.

 

So father Różański was on the right track when he bought his first ten hectares of arable land in 1978 and gradually took advantage of opportunities to buy more land. At the beginning of the 1990s the Różańskis already owned 50 hectares, and when it was finally possible to buy second-hand western technology, they were the first to have their own combine harvester. But the combine was not used to full capacity with only 50 hectares, so the contracting work developed as a sideline and has now grown into a substantial business. The Różańskis now carry out most types of agricultural work for their customers, from slurry spreading, tillage, drilling, crop tending and cereal and forage harvesting right through to specialist work such as shoreline stabilisation along the coast.

"We've got a great team"

 

One challenge that the brothers constantly have to face in their desire for growth and first-class work is the search for good staff to increase the size of their team. For the Różańskis, good staff are people who, like them, have a feel for farming, customers and machines. "We've got a great team," say Tomek and Piotr. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find more people who know how to operate the new machines correctly and look after them properly.

 

Tomek and Piotr are completely different in character, but they seem to be just the right mix to grow their business successfully. Acquiring customers, financial matters, managing the business – these are Tomek's areas because, as his brother says, he is "strong, hard-working and persistent." Once he has set himself a goal, nothing stands in his way. For Tomek, everything has to run at top speed to make him happy: "I was quick even when I was a child. There has to be something going on all the time, then I'm happy. And if there are problems, people ring me up. Then I try to find a solution quickly, on my own or with my brother." Unlike Tomek, Piotr is more reflective and the calmer of the two brothers, and still operates every machine himself. Piotr explains how the work is divided up: "My brother can get in the tractor and haul grain, but when it comes to drilling, ploughing, spraying and fertiliser application, I'm the one who does it". And both brothers are very happy with this arrangement.


Picture gallery


Making-of – Behind the scenes