Precision Farming By The Zone

Kurt LawtonConservation, Corn, Farmers, Fertilizer, John Deere, Planting, seed, sustainability

The Furrow magazine, produced by John Deere, profiled several growers on their use of precision farming management zones in a story called “Farming In The Zone” in their March 2010 issue.

Broadwater, Neb., grower Frank Lussetto says zone management helped him accomplish three broad goals of being agronomically sound, economically smart and environmentally safe. He uses zone maps for phosphorous, nitrogen and seeding rates, grouping six to eight soil types in a field into three to five zones. And he used elevation and electrical conductivity as the primary drivers in zone development.

The story also featured Enterprise, Kan., farmer Larry Hottman and his use of zones, derived more prominently from yield maps collected since 1998. He too used electrical conductivity readings to map soil properties along with grid soil sampling.

University of Nebraska agronomist Richard Ferguson says they are seeing a $26 per acre benefit using site-specific nitrogen application and zone management.

For more details, read the story.