It’s times like these when the sticker shock of rising costs combined with the opportunities presented by rising prices leads resourceful growers to take a new look at the way they run their operations. New and innovative technologies available today can help you reduce the use of materials and take fuller advantage of the assets you already have.
New application technologies are designed to help reduce your use of inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, innovative thinking can be applied to improve the productivity of the land. Whether these can pay off for you will depend on your particular operation, but these ideas that we’re using might be worth a closer look for your no-till operation.
One of the most significant advances in application equipment is the development and use of GPS auto-steering. Research at Purdue University indicates that growers overlap as much as 10 percent in field operations. A 10 percent overlap on 1,000 acres translates into actually working 1,100 acres. This increases your expenses — nitrogen, diesel fuel, ag chemicals and other equipment costs — by 10 percent. When total fertility costs of more than a $100 per acre and the additional expenses associated with herbicides are considered, the cost can rise to $125 or more per acre.
As the costs of these systems continue to drop, it has become easier to justify the investment in an auto-steering system that can eliminate a 10 percent overlap on fertilizer and pesticide applications. In many cases…