Make The Crop Tell You Where Field Variations Are

Precision agriculture technology gives you tools, but combine them with your own observations to create a map for success in your no-till fields.

The complexity of precision ag technology, when combined with your own knowledge, boils down to creating information that guides your decisions toward greater profits, according to Joe Nester and John McGuire.

Nester, owner of Nester Ag Management, a consulting firm in Bremen, Ohio, and McGuire, a precision ag technology analyst who operates John McGuire Technology Services in Montpelier, Ohio, have worked together, and they offer shared advice to no-tillers. They talk about a system that relies on yield maps, soil types, zone mapping and farmer input that combine to let the crops tell no-tillers where the field variations are.

“You’ve got to come up with a way to see the patterns in your fields. We’ve found that the farmer’s input along with good, calibrated yield data tends to be what works best. Then we need to troubleshoot the established patterns,” Nester says. “We need to verify that there’s nothing within those areas that we can control or fix, until we’re satisfied that we’ve got it down to only uncontrollable variables standing in the way of more profit.”

From The Beginning.

It starts with zone sampling, they say. “We’re convinced that zone sampling is correct. We’ve gone through grid sampling, where you have a computer set those points for you before you go in the field. I think we can do better than that,” Nester says.

“There are many ways to break up those zones: high ground, low ground, soil color. We’ve got digitized soil maps now, which are maybe not…

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