Variable Rate Technology Plants Seeds Of Profitability

Once they commit to the practice, no-tillers often find that managing planting populations on the go can cut seed costs and maximize yield.

The global push to increase crop production and keep pace with population projections underlines the importance for no-tillers to make every seed count.

Oft-cited research estimates predict that by 2050, the world’s population will increase by nearly one-third to reach 9.1 billion people.

Agricultural demand is projected to grow by 70% to 100% by then, according to the USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS).

Maximizing growing potential with corn and soybeans will be key. One way no-tillers could do this is adopting variable-rate seeding, which precisely places the right type and amount of seed in the correct fields. This technology has the potential to not only boost yields, but also save input costs.

Modern planters with newer technology lets no-tillers control by the row when and how much seed they place in the ground, based on prescription maps. And hydraulic or newer electric drives provide for faster and more efficient seeding.

“If you look at what’s going to propel yields over the next decade and beyond, more and more farmers will need to hone in on every section of land on a much more granular level than before,” says Rhett Schildroth, product manager with Kinze Mfg.

“Optimizing every acre will require rapid changes in seeding and farmers will need the equipment and the data to create those prescriptions.”

In the past, seeding at a singular rate worked well for farmers and they were able to harvest a good crop, says Sean Arians, product marketing manager for Precision Planting. But farmers need…

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Jack Zemlicka

Jack Zemlicka was the Technology Editor for No-Till Farmer. His coverage included precision farming practices, products and trends, which can improve efficiency and productivity for no-till farmers.

He joined Lessiter Publications Ag Division in 2012 and also served as managing editor of Strip-Till Farmer.

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