Sharpening Our Technical Focus
Heading into another production season, I’ve been involved in several projects intended to put technology to work for our customers. One of those involved putting together variable-rate seeding recommendations for some of our growers. To do that, I used multiple years of yield data to determine management zones. In those zones, we also look at organic matter to determine both water-holding capacity and cation exchange capacity. The prescription then adjusts seeding rates, based on the management zone and hybrid, to deliver the most economical return for each zone.
Several of our growers have been working with variable-rate seeding prescriptions for several years now. If you’re interested in giving it a try, we’ll be more than happy to help you get started.
A second project involved fleet connectivity. Currently, all of our dry spreaders and lime machines have wireless modems to transfer as-applied data. We’re now expanding that capability to our entire sprayer fleet. This will enable us to retrieve even more as-applied data for record-keeping purposes.
Finally, we continue to expand our network of weather stations. At present, we have 55 weather stations connected to our Data on Touch program. We’ll be adding five to 10 more stations this year, some of which will fill in some gaps and others that will expand the network.