• Apr 11, 2017

Turn to Tech to Determine Planting Timing

Planting season is upon us, ready or not. Forecasts are always unpredictable and anticipation is high this time of year. Determining optimal planting time involves checking soil temps, watching weather forecasts and using your experience and intuition as guidance. But, have you ever considered supplementing these traditional methods with a technological approach to determine planting timing?
The weather features in the R7® Tool deliver a wealth of data to help you confidently decide when it’s time to start filling planters.
  1. Get perspective with historical weather data. Temperature graphs in the R7® Tool show trends based on current and extended forecasts, which is important considering conditions often change suddenly in the spring. You can also see 30-year historical weather averages to help gauge current conditions against what has been typical over time. This may help with decision-making if you’re on the fence about planting.
  2. Pin-point weather differences across fields. Aerial maps and graphs can indicate average temperature and moisture levels based on specific field locations. This can help guide your planting strategy as you target warmer, drier fields first. You can also compare average temperatures across years to determine planting dates around what worked (and what didn’t) in the past. This example from Texas shows temperature averages for February 2017 were 5 to 10 degrees higher than the same time last year, giving a significant head start on planting this year.
  3. Monitor crop progress after planting. The R7® Tool also has a growing degree unit calculator to help predict emergence and growth stages throughout the season. You can use this valuable tool to help guide field scouting and crop protection spray applications. You can also compare growing degree units for the current year to the past five years. In the example below, you can see we’ve acquired significantly more growing degree units in 2017 compared to the previous five years. This explains why corn in Texas is emerging in 7 to 8 days this year compared to 10 to 12 days last year.
For more information about using tech to determine the optimal time to get in the field, contact your local retailer.