AG NEWS
AG NEWS

Use Tech to Amp Up Alfalfa Production

  • May 10, 2018
We often hear about technology being used to optimize corn and soybean crops. But how can a highly specialized crop like alfalfa best leverage tech throughout the growing season?
 
Here are some ways to use technology tools to help optimize your alfalfa crop this year.
 
1. Let in-season imagery turn hunches into insights.
In-season imagery, available through the R7® Tool by WinField United, can quantify the size of field areas that are experiencing poor growth and low biomass. Once you know the size and location of problem areas, you can then make variable-rate decisions about where to apply additional fertility to better spots and perhaps less to those that are not performing as well. Conversely, you can use imagery to pinpoint poorer-performing areas where nutrient deficiency is the culprit and provide a nutritional boost.
 
2. Dig into tissue sampling to assess nutrient needs.
After you have used in-season imagery to quantify areas of high or low biomass, you can then use a tissue sample to determine if a particular nutrient is a limiting factor in problem areas. After receiving results from the lab, your agronomist can create a variable-rate prescription for those nutrients that are out of balance or depleted.
 
3. Leverage the R7® Field Monitoring Tool to determine stand viability.
The R7® Field Monitoring Tool (FMT) can benchmark an alfalfa field against itself to see if it is performing as it has in past years or if it has run its course and should be removed from production. The FMT will also show if a field’s growth is trending below that of nearby fields, which could be an indicator of early disease or insect pressure.
 
4. Team with your trusted advisor.
Ag technology paired with boots-on-the-ground scouting can be a winning combination when it comes to accurately evaluating your fields. This is why WinField United pairs its technology tools with the expertise of a local trusted advisor. For example, while you check the FMT to see how your fields are trending, your advisor can use in-season imagery to guide physical scouting and make sure that an early flush of weeds is not masquerading as high biomass.
 
Talk with your agronomist to learn more about the tools available to help manage your alfalfa crop.