The Tech Behind the Data
Technology helps us connect dots
We often talk about local plot data and the importance of using regionalized information to guide decision-making. While local data is a valuable tool, we can strengthen insights by looking at how a particular product or practice responds to different environments. Just because a trial is local doesn’t necessarily mean that it is the best data set for making decisions. Based on the year, your field conditions may be more comparable to a trial that’s located across the state or even across the country.
We employ weather stations at each Answer Plot® location to collect differences in environments that include soil moisture at multiple depths, rainfall, wind speed, solar radiation and relative humidity. This allows us to really understand how seed products respond to changing environmental conditions. Based on the amount of information we can collect in the field, we’re able to calibrate the R7® Field Forecasting Tool to help deliver more reliable predictions on how products will perform under specific conditions.
You can easily access Answer Plot® information from across the country through your local WinField United retailer.
Looking to the future
We’re heavily invested in technology and continue to research opportunities to help produce reliable data more efficiently. Unmanned aerial vehicles, also known as drones, are one technology that could help us collect plant characterization data for the Answer Plot® program in the future. Collecting stand counts in the field, measuring differences in plant health and surveying the condition of a field following a storm are just a few ways drones could help us collect information.
As we head into the Answer Plot® program’s 20th year, we can attribute much of its success to the technology that helps us generate quality data to guide management decisions.
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