• Agriculture Technology

Monitor In-Season Challenges With Tech

Mid-season wheat field
Buddy King, a farmer in Wallace, North Carolina, was having one of his best wheat crops ever. Or so he thought. “We actually entered that wheat crop into a yield contest because it looked so good,” he recalls.
He had done everything right. He’d taken all the steps that worked in the past. “We did our usual split application of nitrogen during the season,” King says. “Had just put on our last fungicide application and were waiting for the season to wrap up so we could harvest.” But there was a problem. A potentially disastrous one.
His retail seller, Michael Patram, kept getting “vigor status down” messages from the R7® Field Monitoring Tool.
At first, he thought something was wrong with the tool. Then he went out to the field to investigate. “I pushed the wheat back and found aphids,” Patram says. “Then I talked to Buddy and we checked out several additional fields. More aphids. We ended up making an insecticide application on more than 1,100 acres of his wheat.”
The Field Monitoring Tool provides a clear daily indicator of crop status using satellite imagery as an indication of the field’s biomass. And although low biomass is never good, exceptionally high biomass — especially achieved over a short period of time — can be just as bad.
“If you’ve got a few fields entered into the Field Monitoring Tool that look a lot better than every other field, there’s a good possibility you’ve got a weed problem or you didn’t catch a particular area with your fall burndown,” says Patram. “You want fields to stand out and look exceptional. But if they look a lot better really quick, that’s your cue to get out into the field and see what’s really going on.”
In the end, the R7 Field Monitoring Tool gave King the detailed insights he needed to take action and save his yield.
“The Field Monitoring Tool helped us protect the investment we’d made in our wheat crop,” says King. “If we hadn’t checked out those ‘vigor status down’ messages, our yield potential would have been compromised. As it happened, we were able to maintain the yield potential we had built. That’s what we were going for.”

To learn more about how the Field Monitoring Tool can help you make informed in-season decisions this season, talk with your locally owned and operated WinField United retailer.

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