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.
Q: You’re planting corn. What are some benefits you’re experiencing with the RTK system?
A: I spend 12 to 14 hours a day in the tractor with a 36-row planter. Once I get turned into the rows, I can hit the AutoTrac button, let it go, then watch the row units to make sure everything is adjusted as it should be. This allows me to keep my mind on what the planter is doing instead of turning my knuckles white having to watch the row markers in front of the tractor. It’s easy on me, and my hands aren’t tired from holding the steering wheel all day.
Q: What cost savings have you seen?
A: Seed corn was $75 per bag in 1982. Now it’s $220 per bag. With new planters and the RTK system, I’m more accurate, which in turn, saves money. One of the most cost-effective operations is swath control by saving on nitrogen, and it helps improve yields in the long run. Most people just don’t know what the system is capable of doing. But It all pencils out.
Q: What are you telling your neighbors?
A: More farmers need to invest in precision agriculture. They don’t have to do it all at once, all in one year, but it will quickly pay for itself time and time again.
You can listen to the interview with Delbert here: Delbert Armstrong (4:00 min mp3)