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.
Q: How does the RTK make planting potatoes easier?
A: Before the RTK system, we’d mark out ahead of time so the planter could follow the straight lines of the previous tractor. It took 1 planter operator, 1 marking operator and 2 tractors and usually someone riding on the planter. We’ve eliminated a few of those processes/people now and now the operator can monitor the planter through an on-board computer. The RTK system has really cut our expenses and we get better, more accurate row spacing.
It’s made us much more efficient. We had no idea, once we got into it, the extent of how much it saves us. We use it in all of our planting operations. On corn, we plant more acres with 1 large, 12-row planter using RTK than we did with 2, 8-row planters and no guidance system.
Q: You’re a record-keeping guru. How does GreenStar 2 help you?
A: We use the Grower Approved Practices (GAP) program, meaning that the people buying our food want to make sure we’re doing things right. What we do is track our diesel usage, the time we’re working this ground, and these are all records that processors are requiring. Instead of writing everything down at the end of the day, the GreenStar 2 System is recording all of this for you.
It’s rapidly becoming a necessity – it’s so cost-effective and we couldn’t survive without it.