A lot of new and exciting technologies hit the agricultural industry this winter, from the See & Spray technology to self-propelled planters! The world of precision agriculture and technology is constantly evolving and at Beck’s, we strive to lead the way when it comes to finding smarter and more efficient ways to farm. Some of the ways we do that is through our Practical Farm Research (PFR) program and also FARMserver, our web-based application that allows farmers to collect and analyze data, write variable prescriptions, and build a wide variety of reports.
FARMserver can be used throughout the growing season, from Seed Selection to viewing Crop Health Imagery. Now, as the weather begins to warm and farmers get that itch to get back out in the field, is a great time to get your spring fever fix by creating prescriptions with FARMserver’s new Management Zone Tool.
This tool allows users to build management zones from multiple layers, adjusting the influence of each layer individually to create an accurate representation of your fields. The Management Zone Tool has created a new way to build zones that has been out of reach for most farms in the past. Historically, writing variable rate prescriptions for any application took a team of people, including an agronomist, a seed representative, equipment dealer, and a precision farming advisor. With FARMserver, we can now write our own prescriptions using our own knowledge of the field and the input from the seed advisor to build successful and profitable zones. There are several ways to write a population prescription for planting. Here are a few ways FARMserver will allow you to build planting zones.
Field history and general knowledge of crop production on that field
NCCPI (National Commodity Crop Productivity Index) from USDA soil maps
Field drainage from aerial images
Multi-year yield data
Irrigated vs non irrigated land
Crop Health Imagery
If you are new to writing prescriptions, it’s usually a good idea to start small. Look at a handful of fields you have farmed for a while and know the history well. When it comes to management zones for corn, we typically recommend pushing the populations in the areas you know have performed well in the past and reducing populations where the soil is tougher. For soybeans, we typically recommend the opposite. It’s also a good idea to run population test blocks on newly acquired ground to evaluate what the soils are able to handle. For more information on FARMserver and creating prescriptions, check out our tutorial videos in the Help section of FARMserver.com
By Nate Rottero, Precision Farming Field Advisor