Ag Leader Technology officially released the North American Wheat algorithm for OptRx during the Iowa Power Farming Show in Des Moines, Iowa this week. OptRx is a crop sensor used for mapping, data collection and real-time variable rate nitrogen application.
To learn more about how OptRx worked, I spent some time with Mike Olson, North American Sales Manager for Ag Leader, during the show. He said releasing this crop sensor was the next logical step for them because there is a huge demand in both North America as well as globally for nitrogen for wheat.
Applying the right amount of nitrogen at the right time is very important for wheat so you don’t have issues like lodging, and you get better crop stand. “So if we can monitor crop health as you go through the field and apply nitrogen based on it, we can use nitrogen more wisely across the field and give you a better overall stand,” explained Olson.
Last year, Ag Leader released OptRx crop sensor for corn. Olson said that in the past two years, the Midwest has seen very wet springs and crop variability has been very, very high. This has caused a lot of nitrogen leeching. Growers who used OptRx last year, on average, saw a $25 per acre improvement over not having the crop sensor and using a flat rate application.
Since real-time variable rate nitrogen applications in the field, such as OptRx are pretty new technologies, I asked Olson what the three most common questions were from growers, He said, “What’s the technology? What equipment do I need? and What are the benefits?” You can get detailed answers to these questions in the video below.
The 2011 season is fast approaching so now is the time to purchase your technology. Olson said that both the OptRx crop sensor for wheat and corn are now available and the has team members standing by to give growers the 411 on the technologies. In addition, his team members can help them get set up and ready to go so when the window of opportunity is available to apply nitrogen, they’re ready to go.
For more information on OptRx for wheat and corn, visit www.agleader.com.
Miss the show? Check it out in our Iowa Power Farming Show flickr photo album.