Yield maps are often referred to as “autopsies” of the field. They show the patterns of good and bad areas, whether those acres are naturally occurring or man-made. Changes in topography, soil drainage, weather, texture, nutrient levels, disease, and other environmental factors can help or hurt yield. Man-made patterns, while typically distinguished by their straight lines, can be the result of tillage practices, hybrid or variety changes, fertilizer or herbicide test strips, fungicide trials, or any other practice in the field which affects yield.
While it’s true that any analytics at this point would not help the freshly harvested crop, learning the reasons why it performed the way it did can help operators make informed decisions to improve future growing seasons. FARMserver has many analytical tools, from sub-field queries to side-by-side visual comparisons, to multi-page reports to help growers make these decisions.
In the query tool, FARMserver provides the option to trace an area in the field for analytics. While the polygon drawing tool is the most flexible, the circle tool is perfect for irrigation pivots. The finished query will display the average yield, moisture, and harvested acres in that area, along with the yield by soil type and yield by product if the planting data is available.
Users can view results from two different area queries simultaneously and even order a PDF report. While patterns in our yield maps are what we initially review, any data layer in FARMserver can be used as a reference when drawing queries in the field. If the subject of the query is comparing two fungicide products, turn on the application layer for fungicide and use the product attribute to trace your areas. If planting rate changes are what you are most interested in, you can turn on the planting layer and choose the rate map as your background. Wet spots, soil type changes, and light pollution; the query tool can help focus your study on only the areas relevant to you.
Just like any good test, though, accurate information is key. Good data in is good data out, so make sure to check the yield before using analytics. Post-calibrations are available in FARMserver if changes need to be made. Post-calibration options at the field level include total wet weight or bushels. FARMserver will display the percent change before asking you to save the changes. After a reprocess, the field patterns will look the same, but the total bushels will match the calibration numbers. A little wrench icon next to the Harvest Event in the timeline will indicate the data has been altered. If several fields need to be post-calibrated, that option is available on the Fields & Farm Data page. Select the fields you wish to edit, choose “post-calibrate” from the three dots on the right, and edit the wet weight or total bushels for each field, all in one screen. After reprocessing, the harvest data will match the updated changes.
Analytics like these are only possible with data. If you need help uploading information, data analytics, or any other FARMserver-related tool, don’t hesitate to reach out. We’re always happy to help.
Sheila Downey | Regional Precision Technology Specialist