N Losses May Affect Growers

Melissa Sandfort

Poplar Grove, IL 2 NDVI.bmp The issue: Nitrogen deficiency stress in corn due to heavy rainfall and other factors in the Midwest this spring which may soon become more apparent in the next few weeks to put the corn crop at risk and reduce yields.

What does that mean?
1. N losses always exist.
2. Mineralization always exists. This year will probably more erratic than usual.
3. The heaviest N use begins at row closure. Imagery allows you to asses the nitrogen situation. If necessary corrective action can still be taken this year.

The solution? The OptiGro system from John Deere Agri-Services that allows growers and fertilizer dealers to assess and adjust mid-season nitrogen management.

General

Producer Profile: Randy Reznicek

Melissa Sandfort

The Precision in Practice column brings you the latest reports from producers across North America who have put precision farming into practice in their own operations. Visit this column regularly to see what your neighbors are saying about precision farming and how they use it on their farms.

Short broadcast interviews with these and other producers can be found in the Precision Ag Minute archives.

Randy Reznicek
Nebraska
John Deere systems used: GreenStar Yield Mapping System

Yield Monitoring Q: What exactly is yield monitoring?
A: Yield monitoring is often the first step that producers take in precision farming. This device is an electronic tool that collects data on crop performance for a given year.

Q: What are some of the benefits of yield monitoring?
A: Yield monitoring helps to identify weak areas so growers are able to properly target these specific areas. After targeting deficient areas growers are then able to properly fertilize. This process helps improve weak areas while also saving money. Instead of fertilizing the entire field, yield monitoring makes it possible to single out and fertilize only the segments that are considered weak and lack a proper amount of nutrients.

Q: Can you use yield monitoring by itself?
A: Yes. However, it seems to work better with other avenues such as grid and soil sampling. With grid sampling we find that different areas need different amounts of fertilizer.

Q: How has yield monitoring benefited growers?
A: Growers gain knowledge and insight from devices such as yield monitoring and grid sampling. This allows them to better manage their farms while also making better management decisions. When weak areas are identified and addressed, growers see positive environmental benefits while also seeing economic gain.

Q: Do growers save a significant amount of money while using this technique?
A: Through yield monitoring and the maps they provide, growers are able to identify the most underperforming areas. Growers can then sample the soil of these specific areas while not having to do the rest of the farm. This allows growers the ability to cut back on products. Not every part of a farm needs the same amount of fertilizer, and yield monitoring, with the help of soil and grid sampling, helps producers be selective in what parts of their farms need special treatment.

Precision in Practice

Another “Reach for the Stars” Winner in Illinois

Cindy Zimmerman

Brownfield NetworkDave RussellThere were a total of 15 growers nationwide who won the American Soybean Association/John Deere Reach for the Stars contest this year, and two of them were from Illinois.

Dave Russell of Brownfield Network recently caught up with Chris Von Holten of Walnut, Illinois to ask how he is enjoying the use of a John Deere precision technology package for one year free. Chris was already familiar with precision ag, but he has found new benefits with this system.

Listen here to Dave’s interview with Chris here: Listen to MP3 Chris Von Holten (2 min mp3)

Check out all of the interviews with Reach for the Stars winners in our audio archive section and check back regularly for updates throughout the growing season.

Audio, Equipment, Farm Broadcast Reports, General, Reach for the Stars

John Deere OptiGro helps manage N levels

Melissa Sandfort

Soil and weather conditions this spring in Iowa and surrounding states could have a major impact on development of the region’s corn crop going into the heart of the growing season, says an area agronomist. Crop stress associated with nitrogen deficiency should be a big concern for corn growers who experienced a cool, wet spring. That stress may start showing up soon in some fields.

According to Tracy Blackmer, an agronomist with the Iowa Soybean Association, the large amounts of rain and extended wet growing conditions this spring in some parts of Iowa and neighboring states resulted in higher than normal leaching and denitrification of earlier applied nitrogen fertilizers. In addition to wet weather, Blackmer adds that numerous other field and soil conditions, including crop residue levels, soil pH and type of nitrogen fertilizer used, can impact nitrogen availability and cause deficiency stress.

OptiGro.jpg “Nitrogen stress is critical to plant development from the eighth leaf stage to silking when the plant’s need for nitrogen is at its peak,” says Blackmer. He notes that similar wet weather in the spring of 2004 resulted in nearly 75 percent of tested fields in some areas of the state being nitrogen deficient during the growing season. This year could follow that same pattern.

Blackmer says remote sensing using aerial photography can be an effective tool to help detect nitrogen deficiency in plants early so that additional nutrients can be applied in a timely fashion.

Crop images provided by remote sensing services, such as the OptiGro™ system from John Deere Agri Services, make it even easier to detect even subtle changes in chlorophyll levels within the crop canopy, which correlate directly to nitrogen availability to the plants. “Remote sensing can be effective in detecting problems early, before it results in significant yield losses,” Blackmer adds.

General

3 colors or less

Melissa Sandfort

As mentioned in a previous post, as we get deeper into the “precision revolution,” compatibility is growing, and practitioners are choosing their brands of equipment more carefully. That seems to be supported by the results of a recent reader poll, showing that nearly 60% run their operations with 3 brands or less of equipment.

checkmark.gif

Q: Counting self-propelled equipment, electronic controllers, GPS receivers, in-cab computers, yield monitors, and implements, how many different brands of these types of equipment do you use in your operation?

Response/Percentage
1-3 brands: 57%
4-6 brands: 33%
7-9 brands: 2%
10 or more brands: 8%
Total Responses: 46

Content courtesy of Paul Schrimpf, PrecisionAg, a Meister publication.

General

New Self-Propelled Sprayers

Cindy Zimmerman

SprayersJohn Deere has just introduced a completely new line of sprayers – the 4730, 4830 and 4930 Series Self–Propelled Sprayers.

According to Deere, this new line–up sets new standards for sprayer performance, versatility and productivity.

“We’ve put together a complete family of self–propelled sprayers to meet the productivity demands of all markets, from growers to commercial applicators,” says Craig Weynand, product marketing manager, John Deere Des Moines Works.. “And all the sprayers are loaded with integrated performance–enhancing technology which includes precision guidance, mapping and variable rate software. These machines truly are the most efficient sprayers ever built by John Deere.”

The 4830 also features the standard GreenStar 2™ monitor pre–loaded with precision guidance, mapping, and variable rate software. The optional Boom Trac Pro automatic boom leveling maintains a consistent height over the crop while Swath Control Pro automatically turns nozzle sections on and off at end rows, waterways and other non–spray areas. This intelligent technology is designed to help operators cover more acres in less time, spray product more efficiently and reduce operator fatigue with the assisted–steering system of optional AutoTrac™.

Read more about these new sprayers on John Deere’s website.

Equipment, General, Media Room

Nebraska “Reach for the Stars” Winner

Cindy Zimmerman

KFRMToewsDuane Toews of KFRM, the “Voice of the Plains” in Clay Center, Kansas has been keeping in touch with Todd Swanson of Wahoo, Nebraska who was one of the John Deere/American Soybean Association Reach for the Stars contest winners.

Duane sent in two reports with Todd about how the precision ag technology package he is getting to try out for a year free of charge is helping him so far this season.

Listen to MP3 Duane and Todd 1 (2:30 min mp3)

Listen to MP3 Duane and Todd 2 (2:30 min mp3)

Audio, Equipment, Farm Broadcast Reports, General, Reach for the Stars

Illinois “Reach for the Stars” Winner

Cindy Zimmerman

Brownfield NetworkDave RussellBrownfield Network had a couple of “Reach for the Stars” winners in their coverage area, which includes Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin.

In this interview, Brownfield reporter Dave Russell interviews Ted Vinson of Fithian, Illinois who was one of the lucky winners in the promotion by John Deere and the American Soybean Association that allows him to use John Deere’s precision ag technology for a year free.

Listen here to Dave’s interview with Ted here: Listen to MP3 Ted Vinson (3 min mp3)

Stay tuned to Precision.AgWired.com for more interviews throughout the 2007 growing season with the Reach for the Stars winners.

Audio, Equipment, Farm Broadcast Reports, General, Reach for the Stars

Compatibility is key

Melissa Sandfort

Paul Schrimpf, PrecisionAgThere is still a lot of discussion about the need for compatibility across agriculture equipment, be it a tractor, a sprayer, or a controller. True plug and play is possible in some instances, but has been slow to come. In a free market, that comes with the territory – companies put a lot of time and effort into developing specialized equipment, so there is always going to be the tendency to make things proprietary.

But as we get deeper into the “precision revolution,” compatibility is growing, and practitioners are choosing their brands of equipment more carefully. That seems to be supported by the results of a recent poll showing that nearly 60% run their operations with 3 brands or less of equipment.

Everyone agrees that compatibility and ease of use will be critical to pushing precision ag practices to the next level of adoption.

Content courtesy of Paul Schrimpf, PrecisionAg, a Meister publication

General

“Reach for the Stars” Winner Interview on Brownfield Network

Cindy Zimmerman

Brownfield NetworkDave RussellDave Russell with Brownfield Network visited with John Deere/American Soybean Association (ASA) Reach for the Stars contest winner Neal Kuhn of Manilla, Indiana.

Neal told Dave that his new precision ag system really surprised him. “It’s done things beyond my expectations,” he said. “I’ve never had anything like this.”

Neal was one of 15 winners who have the opportunity to use a premium-level precision ag system, each with a suggested retail price of more than $20,000, for the entire 2007 U.S. growing season.

Listen here to Dave’s interview with Neal here: Listen to MP3 Neal Kuhn (3 min mp3)

Stay tuned to Precision.AgWired.com for more interviews throughout the 2007 growing season with the Reach for the Stars winners.

Audio, Equipment, Farm Broadcast Reports, General, Reach for the Stars