Southern States Cooperative Offers Precision Program

Kelly MarshallAgribusiness, Data, technology

Analysis ProgramSouthern States Cooperative is debuting their new precision agriculture program with options for beginner, intermediate and advanced-level farm data management.  The program offers three tiered packages, Discovery, Evaluation and Analysis.

The Discovery option lets growers get started with a basic package.  It features a season-long program to help provide information that allows the user to make better informed decisions with soil and tissue samples to show what is happening in the field.

“The Discovery program is designed to show growers what the basic agronomy technologies can do for their operation, but not overwhelm them with loads of information,” said Dave Swain, Southern States’ manager of precision ag. “This package keeps it simple and allows a grower to learn more about how agronomy technology can provide information to make better crop management decisions.”

The next level, the Evaluation program, is a more long-term approach.  It establishes a baseline and then monitors and evaluates crops as the growing season progress.  A two to three year package begins with a two and a half acre soil sample the first year and then adds satellite imagery to the services provided.  It also comes with soil and tissue sampling and visual evaluations of three specific points in a 50 acre zone.

Analysis combines the options from the first two packages and additionally comes with compaction samples and more data.  Its an intense management program with a post-season evaluation, outlining performance by seed variety, crop protection treatment and soil type.

All three packages begin with a preseason evaluation and planning by geo-referencing soil samples to determine the right nutrient plan for the field to maximize potential from the beginning. Once the season starts, a Southern States Agronomist completes on-site analysis, including tissue samples and in-season soil samples to verify crop health, respond to current conditions, and determine if other factors are limiting the potential yield of the crop.

A postseason evaluation uses yield data and maps that show the final production results.

“The data provides insights on changes we can implement the following season to continually improve crop performance,” Swain noted.