Begin with Basics to Build Precision Ag Platform

Posted on January 30, 2018 by:

Tech Tuesday Header-01

Yield monitors, fancy sensors, and imagery tend to receive the “oohs and aahs” when it comes to precision ag technology. But is that what matters most?

For those who are just starting to use precision ag technology, it’s best to begin with the basics. Climate FieldView™ puts very valuable layers of data right at your finger tips to help make decisions that directly impact your bottom-line.

Fertility should be the base of any crop production system because soil sampling gives your crops the best chance for success. Using the Climate FieldView app, you can pull in your soil sampling data. Use the split-screen tool to view the soil sampling side-by-side with yield data to diagnose season-long problems; or view it beside satellite imagery during the season to make critical last-minute application decisions (see image). You can even use it side-by-side while planting to make last-minute population adjustments based on areas you know have lower fertility.

Soil pH and liming is the foundational piece of the puzzle that can significantly impact how well the other fertilizers and herbicides you apply are getting used by crops. You can apply variable rates of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and seed. Unless the pH is correct, many of those
applications will be a wash in terms of yield impact. For example, once the soil pH drops below
5.8, soybean nodulation for nitrogen fixation significantly decreases and causes that yellow
soybean look to linger longer and lower yield. If your corn is growing in soils with a pH below 5.5, phosphorus availability takes a nose dive. Phosphorus is critical for yield as it is involved in photosynthesis, respiration, energy reactions, and many other important processes.

In regions of Latham Country, farmers struggle more with high pH and the ability to bring it down into that preferred range of 6.0 to 7.0. It’s not economically feasible to attempt lowering pH for large scale production, but having this data at your fingertips can guide you to those areas where you may need for focus on more tolerant crops such as Latham® IRONCLAD™ soybeans. You also can monitor those areas for rescue applications of certain micro-nutrients. In addition, you can apply variable rates of N, P, K fertilizers that include Sulfur, Zinc, or other nutrients to meet a particular crop’s demands in higher-yielding areas.

Whatever the case may be for your specific field, the soil database layers within the Climate FieldView App can help with everything from planning during these winter months to inseason
diagnosis. A pretty yield map can be a real attentiongetter, but when you link your yield map with fertility, it takes FieldXFieldSM crop planning to the next level. By using precision ag tools, you can be confident you’re giving top-yielding Latham genetics the best chance of success!

Categories: General Agronomy