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.
John Deere components used: AutoTrac, Harvest Doc, 4720 Sprayer & GreenStar 2 System with Swath Control Pro
Q: Explain how you’ve saved on chemical and fertilizer costs.
A: We use 12-row equipment, 38-inch, and variable rate spraying with swath control. There’s going to be a lot of savings with swath control. In fields where we had a lot of overlap, we just don’t have that anymore. We never really knew how much money we were losing before.
We switched over to an RTK system on 1-inch variance. Next year, we’ll start banding our chemicals (not broadcast) save more money.
But it’s already paid for itself. Last year when we variable-rated our Pix applications, we saw that the farms were a lot more uniform. Adding variable rate fertilizer this year, it just made it that much better.
Q: Would you recommend guidance packages to your neighbors?
A: Of course! It’s a lot nicer not to have to fight it to keep it going straight. Now, you’re just along for the ride! You can’t afford not to use it. You pay up front and see the value at the end by what you’re saving.
I’ve got young kids and now I can go to their baseball and softball games. Without AutoTrac, I couldn’t do that – I would’ve still been on the tractor.