Mounds of data and layers of field maps are common elements of precision farming systems. A new web-based tool simplifies variable-rate technologies, combining historical field satellite imagery with test plot data to field-tailor seed selection and prescriptions for planting and fertilizer application.
What started as a high-tech machine for thinning lettuce could easily be transformed into an effective alternative for herbicide-free weed control in Midwest row crops. The Lettuce Bot, developed by Stanford-trained Engineers Jorge Heraud and Lee Redden, is expected to hit the market in 2013 and provide an economical substitute for human laborers who now have to thin the billion-dollar California crop by hand.
For most growers, $16/bu. soybeans have made seed treatment use a no-brainer. These coatings are early-season crop insurance, protecting seeds and improving emergence. But even before soybean prices hit recent highs, more farmers have recognized the value.
Most people know they should eat a healthier diet, but it often takes a medical scare to motivate them to change. Most soybean growers know they should add more diversity to their weed control plans, but it often takes herbicide-resistant weeds in their fields to motivate them to try a new system. The hesitation to move away from the simplicity of glyphosate has been one of the biggest reasons many soybean growers in the northern half of the country haven’t tried LibertyLink soybean varieties.
Winning yield contests takes knowledge, skill and, often, a little luck. For some winners, their reward is not just about hitting new yield highs, but about fine-tuning their production practices. These three state soybean contest winners have made some profitable discoveries on their quests for more bushels, and they’re happy to share strategies that have worked best for them.
Having a farm office in your tractor cab just got more practical. A new smartphone application, Virtual Farm Manager (VFM), lets you access information on your home computer while you’re working in the field. It also lets you input new information on the go.