Thailand

Aroon Thala-in, Thailand

About the business

Founded in

1986

Employees

Family farm only

Livestock

Hens and geese for personal use

Area under cultivation

37 rai (6 hectares / 14.6 acres)

Soil type

Loam

Annual rainfall

Approx. 1,000 mm in Khon Kaen province.

The average in north-east Thailand is approx. 1,200 mm.

Machinery

1 TALOS 120

About Thailand

Population

Approx. 68 million

133 person per km² (per 247 acres)

Total area

Approx. 51.3 million hectares (approx. 126.7 million acres)

Area under cultivation

Approx. 24 million hectares (approx. 59.2 million acres)

This includes approx. 9.9 million hectares of rice, plus sugarcane, manioc, maize and natural rubber.

Number of farms

Approx. 1.5 million.

The average farm size is 3 ha, but more than one-third of farms are less than 1.5 ha.

Rice is the second most important cereal in the world, after maize and ahead of wheat.

 

Rice is the second most important cereal in the world, after maize and ahead of wheat. More than 90 per cent of global rice production comes from Asia, and for the most part it is still grown by hand in very small fields. The climate in south-east Asia is perfect for growing rice. There are more than 200 million rice farmers and, particularly in rural areas, rice growing is the only source of income for several million people. It is grown in two different ways: wet and dry. Approximately 80 per cent of global rice production is grown in paddy fields (wet rice cultivation). This was not always the case. Rice has been bred as an aquatic plant. It copes well with flooding because over many thousands of years it has developed a type of aeration tissue for its roots, known as the aerenchyma, which controls gas exchange within the tissue. The advantage of growing rice in flooded fields is that the weed and pest pressure is lower. Dryland rice is now considered a sub-species of rice. Growing rice in non-flooded fields, which happens mainly in low-rainfall regions, is comparatively difficult. Dryland rice needs high air humidity and there are more weeds to contend with in the fields. As a result, dryland rice yields are usually significantly lower, but it is highly prized for its intense flavour.

Thanks to the TALOS, it is possible to work in the fields at any time,  even on hot days.

 

Aroon Thala-in applies fertiliser twice while the rice is growing. This is done by hand. The first application takes place when the plant is two to three months old and the second in August/September immediately after flowering. The crop is normally harvested in November and December. The water is drained off the fields a few days before harvesting so that the small rice combine harvesters can go into the field. The average yield Aroon achieves is around 500 kilograms per rai (3.1215 tonnes per hectare).

 

Aroon is very proud of his CLAAS tractor, which he refers to as “a true partner”. He saw it at a demonstration in 2011. “I was looking at the market, weighing up the various brands, and I was actually planning to buy a different brand.” But he was so impressed with the machine’s powerful performance and its equipment that he changed his mind. “The dealer let me do a test drive and I was convinced straight away,” he remembers. He bought it on the same day. “My father used to work with a buffalo and then I had a single-axle tractor. There weren’t any tractors in this area back then,” remembers Aroon Thala-in. Since he has had a tractor, life has been easier and more pleasant for him and his family. “It's very comfortable to drive, you have a choice of several gears and above all: we can now work in the fields at any time, even on hot days when the sun is burning and we would normally have to take cover in the shade.” Now you can sit in the tractor and carry on working, protected by the roof. “It's so much better than a manual implement which makes you tired from walking behind it.” It is clear that the tractor has given him more energy and made him happier.


Picture gallery


Making-of – Behind the scenes