Technology

Side-dressing

Farm Tech 083We are always looking for new

ways to improve our

operation. Often times this

comes in the way of

technological innovation. Our

most recent large scale change was moving

to a split nitrogen application. The theory behind

this principle is to use nitrogen more efficiently,

thus creating lower costs (and usage), higher

yields, and less excess run-off. The one pass

application in the fall is still very common. TheFarm Tech 113

problem with a single fall application is the fact that

we know nothing about what the spring will provide.

If it is generally wet we would experience the leaching

of product in the draws and lower ground. However, if

it is generally dry we would experience deficiencies on

the hills. In both Farm Tech 109scenario’s you would either have to

over-apply or come up short on some soil types .

Applying “in season” allows us to cater to whatever

mother nature has brought us. In addition to using two

custom made side-dressing bars for “in season”

application, we have utilized the Greenseeker

RT200 System. This system verifies the Hodapp 4-way

amount of the nitrogen the soil has

made available . This can vary on a

year-to -year or even farm-by-farm

basis. The system then gives

real-time vigor maps to the rate

controller and writes a nitrogen

prescription for the bar to deliver.

This allows us to apply the right

amount, in the right place, at the

right time with little to no

over-application.


 

 

Soil Sampling

 

 

We also utilize geospatial soil Gillfillian

samples in 3 acre grids on all our

farms as a basis for fertilizer

application. With site-specific

management being implemented

on our farms, there is a need to

map the variability in nutrient

needs across the fields. Soil tests

measure the relative nutrient

status of the soils and are used as a

basis for profitable and

environmentally responsible

fertilizer application. These grid

sample maps are then used to serve

as a guide for variable-rate

application of crop nutrients.

 

 

Auto-Steer Equipment

We also have integrated auto-steerUn sorted 156

systems for most applications in the

field. Our systems can be used on any

piece of equipment. They are versatile

and reliable but cost only about 18% of

the cost of a fully integrated system.

They require more calibration and time

to move from one piece to another.

However, We feel that the cost savings

outweigh the disadvantages on the

systems. The auto-steer enables us to

spend more time monitoring systems

and doing quality control checks. It

also cuts back on overlap and over

application. It greatly reduces operator

fatigue and allows us to work longer

hours.

Variable Rate Seeding

We are now variable rate seeding our

crop in order to more efficiently utilize

our inputs. Hydraulic drives on the planter

allows us to change the amount of seeds per acre

we are planting. We prepare prescription maps

based on soil type, fertility, and past yield data to

determine the rate. We then can use our

geospatial data to automatically change the seed

population on the go.

Yield Mapping

We have been yield mapping forPicture 320 over 7 years.

By yield mapping we are able to properly analyze

the large amounts of data that is created

throughout several years. Over the course of a

year we may have over seventy different test

strips. Our tests could include……planter depth/

down pressure/ population/ application speed/

hybrid comparisons/ tillage method/ Harvest yieldnitrogen

rates/ starter fertilizer rates/ tillage depth/

chemical plans/ fungicide application/ foliar

nutrients/ field conditions/ residue

management/ timing of nitrogen application or

several other different variables. Our goal is to

use this information to make better decisions.

The data helps us determine the best management

decisions for every acre. The information is also

integrated into our accounting software to create

reports on a farm by farm basis.

Integrated Management Software

We have been using a software programFarm works pic_0001

called Farm Works for about four years.

The software allows us to bring all our

accounting information together with the

specific farms. We are able to track

supplies and inventories more closely. It

is a valuable tool that creates a better

understanding of every farms

profitability.