• Dec 18, 2015

Integrate Your Technology Tools for Best Results

Four years ago, high commodity prices and even higher yields brought exciting new opportunities for farmers. Ag technology was in its infancy, and farmers were open to exploring new ways to increase their yield potential.
Since those early days, the marketplace has seen dramatic changes. Commodity prices have tumbled, while the dynamic technology industry has become increasingly complex, flooded with data and a variety of tools. As farmers search for ways to deal with low prices, ag technology has emerged as the best way to make every seed count.
The big question for many farmers is how to select the best tools for their operation. Do you have to choose just one company’s tool for all your needs? Or can you cherry-pick the right programs from different systems? I think it’s difficult to find a tool that does it all, but there are some helpful options available.
Fortunately, systems such as the R7® Tool have been developed to encourage digital collaboration. It’s easy to combine features from the R7® Tool with platforms offered by partner companies and your retailer. This allows you to incorporate whatever technology makes the most sense for your operation.
For example, you can take advantage of the R7® Tool’s reliable, low-cost satellite imagery to evaluate variability within your fields. If in-season images identify soil variances, you can take soil samples and review an analysis using the NutriSolutions® Tool or your retailer’s soil sampling program. With either option, you can import results into the R7® Tool to create variable-rate fertility prescriptions for each field.
This fall, when I was helping farmers plan for next season, we were able to integrate several technology programs to create the right package for each field. By accessing Answer Plot® data within the R7® Tool, we identified the right hybrids for each field. During this process, I researched each hybrid’s response to nitrogen and used Nitrogen Advisor in Climate FieldView Pro™ to examine the outcomes of different nitrogen application scenarios. By comparing several factors that affect anhydrous ammonia applications at different dates, we came up with the optimal application timing to minimize potential nitrogen loss and maximize the farmer’s input investment.
It’s also possible to incorporate retailer P-K-lime advisory platforms to complete your fertility planning.
In-season, you can continue to monitor whole-field nitrogen levels and correct deficiencies by integrating R7® Tool in-season imagery with Nitrogen Advisor and the NutriSolutions® Tool. This season-long digital collaboration can help you zero in on problem areas and pinpoint solutions for greater efficiencies.
Talk with your local ag technology specialist about identifying and incorporating the best technology mix for your operation. 

As farmers search for ways to deal with low prices, ag technology has emerged as the best way to make every seed count.