First off, I order 12 consecutive days of sunshine across the US so we can keep those yield monitors spinning to map data—to help close out a very odd summer and fall.
Thinking of brighter days ahead, be sure to make mental/written notes as harvest progresses, because hybrid/variety selection time is upon us. To that end, I talked this week with Pioneer sales rep and Ag Leader master service dealer Mike Anderegg, who advises his seed clients on all things seed and technology near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Mike helps growers understand the value of farm data, and how it can truly help hybrid and variety selection—one of the most important decisions you make each year. “Data collection is an evolution which usually starts with visual yield monitoring (just watching it, not recording), then using GPS to map it. Once growers start to analyze maps and think about the impact of their management practices—that’s when the desire for more data usually begins,” Anderegg says.
“Yields alone can perhaps tell them that they waited too long to harvest these soybeans, or perhaps they needed to harvest corn at a different moisture level,” he says. Growers quickly see the value in adding data layers for soil type, soil fertility levels, hybrid/variety maps and more.
“The data is all about seeing trends along hybrid and varietal lines. When you know the ground and your agronomic practices, we can look at hybrids on slow cool early soils, on lighter droughty soils, on middle ground, on corn-on-corn and first-year corn. And this data then helps deliver better future recommendations,” Anderegg adds.
“Along with seed advice, I can offer growers precision farming technology that can do anything and everything they want. The challenge is making it work with best agronomic practices, and having an adoption plan to make it all work together. I help growers think through what practices they want to do—from yield gathering and mapping to variable-rate planting, fertilizing and spraying. We also talk about whether moving tools between vehicles is desired. Then we can craft a technology adoption plan that fits their agronomic desires. And one that helps them make more money,” he says.