Precision soil sampling has come a long way, according to Tom McGraw of Midwest Independent Soil Samplers, pictured here at the recent InfoAg conference with John Deere’s Jeff Kaiser.
“Precision sampling isn’t all that new. 1929, Purdue University started grid sampling,” says McGraw. “We’ve done millions of acres of grid sampling by now.”
He says that using imagery to detect changes in nitrogen levels has improved over time. “I’ve leaned out the side of an airplane with a 35mm camera years ago,” he said. “There’s been a struggle for 20 years to find out how do we use imagery.”
McGraw is impressed with the John Deere Agri Service OptiGro product. “The stuff just popped my eyes, you can just see a ton of stuff out there,” he said. “From the nitrogen management standpoint, my hair is white because I have been trying to manage nitrogen my whole career! Now there’s a system with imagery that you can see where the crop is in terms of nitrogen needs. And with $4 corn you better be darn sure you got out there what that crop needs.”
Listen to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Tom here: McGraw (3:20 min mp3)