• Agriculture Technology

Address Early-Season Issues With Technology

Early season field

After the rush of spring planting, it can be hard to monitor 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 manually scout every field, but 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 been 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.
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 R7 Field Monitoring Tool can help you make more informed decisions this season, talk with your locally owned and operated WinField United retailer.
This article was originally published in May 2019 and was updated in May 2021.
All photos are either the property of WinField United or used with permission.

© 2021 WinField United. Important: Before use always read and follow label instructions. Crop performance is dependent on several factors many of which are beyond the control of WinField United, including without limitation, soil type, pest pressures, agronomic practices and weather conditions. Growers are encouraged to consider data from multiple locations, over multiple years, and to be mindful of how such agronomic conditions could impact results. R7® and WinField are trademarks of WinField United.

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