Are You Using Your Precision Farming Data?

Kurt LawtonEducation, Equipment, Farmers, GPS

Remember your first yield monitor, when all you did with it was watch the numbers spin wildly across your fields. Heck, even when one took the next step to map the data, few knew how to use it to make improvements.

Using technology to it’s fullest extent takes time, education, practice, and a good advisor. And the technology of precision agriculture is a prime example.

At a recent grower meeting in Wall Lake, Ia., it was noted that nearly 40% of Iowa farmers have access to variable rate seeding technology, but only about half of them use it, according to Monsanto’s John Jansen, quoted in a Farm News report.

“Farmers also continue to struggle with managing the data from their yield monitors in a meaningful way.

“Based on what farmers tell me, seven out of 10 download information from their monitor to their home computer, but only about one in 10 actually do anything with the data,” Jansen said. “However, accounting for different soil types in a field and getting the right planting populations will be the key to boosting yields in the years ahead.”

As precision farming continues to evolve, better in-season satellite technology will help farmers maximize their crops’ potential during the growing season, Jansen added, who noted that Monsanto is entering the imagery technology business by working with Colorado-based EarthMap Solutions. “New expertise in geographic information systems and remote sensing will help us improve seed production and provide better agronomic information to growers.”