• Agriculture Technology
  • Jun 27, 2019

Focus Scouting Efforts With Ag Tech Tools

Insects on corn crop
Spring and early summer are always busy for farmers. But things get even more hectic when the season is condensed, as it is for many this year. With so much to do and little time to do it, scouting fields tends to become a lower priority. Ag technology tools can help you target areas that may need extra attention, saving you valuable time.

Biomass measurements can alert you to problems

A plant’s biomass is a good predictor of yield potential because plants that have more healthy, green tissue can accumulate more carbohydrates to produce grain. The R7® Field Monitoring Tool (FMT) tracks the vigor status of fields by measuring biomass. It uses normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) imagery to benchmark comparable fields based on the crop and when it was planted. As plants grow, some fields will accumulate more biomass and others less.
The FMT alerts you when a field’s vigor begins trending downward, but it doesn’t indicate what the exact problem is. It could be that poor plant stands or inadequate fertility are limiting biomass accumulation. Low vigor trends could also be the result of insect and disease pressure in the field. Either way, when you notice a field that is changing, it’s time to get out there for a closer look. The FMT helps focus your scouting efforts and is especially useful when your time is limited.

Take a deeper look at fields with in-season imagery

Often, disease and insect pressure isn’t consistent across a field. Just because the first few rows at the front of your field look clean doesn’t mean there aren’t pest pressures in other areas. The FMT can give you a larger scale overview of field health, but combining it with in-season imagery allows you to get more granular and look at specific areas within a field. You can also employ drones to get a better look at areas that may be difficult to physically get to.

Use ag tech to keep a scouting history

One beneficial feature of the R7 Tool is the ability to drop a pin to document a location in your field and add notes or a photo. For example, if you see that disease is causing problems, you can take a photo and drop a pin at the location. Then you can easily send the information to your agronomist for further evaluation. Being able to pin problem areas also helps you build an archive of trouble spots that you can refer back to as you’re planning insect and disease programs in the future.
Staying ahead of insect and disease pressure requires a proactive scouting approach. Technology tools are an economical and efficient way to support your efforts. For more information, talk with your locally owned and operated WinField United retailer.

© 2019 WinField United. R7® and WinField® are trademarks of WinField United.

Agriculture Technology

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