• Agriculture Technology
  • May 09, 2019

Address Early-Season Issues With Technology

Early season field
After the rush of spring planting, it can be hard to actively watch every field for in-season problems such as poor stands, seedling diseases, winterkill, early-season pests and weed pressure. There’s just not time to go back and perform manual scouting evaluations on every field.
Early detection of issues can make all the difference in yield potential at harvest. That’s where the R7® Field Monitoring Tool can help. Here’s how using the tool early can help you identify which fields are doing well and which might need your immediate attention.
Minimize replanting
The Field Monitoring Tool can help assess early-season stands and identify parts of the field that may need additional attention. For one farmer I’ve worked with, this made the difference between replanting two fields versus only replanting part of one.
Using the Field Monitoring Tool to monitor crop progress, we noticed that two of his fields were performing below where we expected them to be. After seeing this, we reviewed the weather feature of the R7 Tool and discovered that there had a spell of cool, wet weather ten days after the initial planting. With this information in hand, we took some manual stand counts and identified areas of the field that could be replanted. Catching the problem early allowed for limited in-season replanting that minimized additional seed cost and recaptured some yield that would have otherwise been lost.
Identify unexpected weed pressure
Early-season weeds are never a welcome presence in your fields. Being able to identify high-pressure weed areas early on gives you an advantage as you plan your herbicide passes. One farmer who rotated between wheat and sunflower crops was seeing the typical hard-to-control winter annuals in last year’s sunflower field. The farmer also spotted vigorous, above-average growth in the wheat stubble field using the Field Monitoring Tool, which indicated there was intense early-season weed pressure in some parts of the field that he wasn’t expecting this early in the season.
Using the Profitability Mapper feature in R7 allowed the farmer to do a cost analysis to help determine that it made good financial sense to treat the weeds, since they were only a problem on parts of the field. If relying on historical thinking and manual scouting alone, the focus would have been on the expected problem spot — the sunflower field — leaving the weeds in the wheat stubble untreated and much harder to kill later in the season. The outcome would have been very different.
Succeed through partnership
A coordinated plan using technology as your guide can help you stay one step ahead of early-season stressors as they arise. To learn more about how the Field Monitoring Tool can help you make more informed decisions this season, talk with your locally owned and operated WinField United retailer.

Agriculture Technology