Lance Ruppert is the Director of Agronomy Marketing for GROWMARK. Among his many other responsibilities, Ruppert participated in the National Association of Farm Broadcasting Trade Talk event in Kansas City earlier this month, talking about the GROWMARK Endure sustainability platform and how higher yields are being attained more sustainably with better agronomics.
With the genetic potential for crops is on the rise, technology and connectivity make it possible for growers to manage details, and understanding the levels of nitrogen and where they are in the field is a huge part of that.
“As we learn more and can manage nutrients better, especially nitrogen, spoon feeding the crop a little bit more and understanding how it all works, that helps tremendously to get to that genetic potential,” he says.
The 2016 growing season was a great example. Winter was warm and wet, leaving growers concerned about nitrogen applications. Soil samples proved that nitrogen had converted a little, but generally was still in fields and didn’t need another application. A dry spring meant quick planting for most, and rains beginning after the 4th of July into August built great yields. A good management system again became crucial late in the season, when warm temps until August prevented diseases from taking hold until late in the year. Growers adding a fungicide to crops saw between a 10 and 15 bushel boost, showing off the power of data-driven decision making.
This increase is technology and “smart” farming will certainly be the direction of the future, Ruppert says. “Five years from now we’ll probably look back and say ‘Wow, what a revolution with technology and smarter farming’.”
Learn more in this interview: Interview with Lance Ruppert, GROWMARK