DES MOINES, Iowa, Sept. 8, 2010 - As harvest nears, growers with GPS-enabled equipment can prepare to use harvest-mapping tools, which provide an easy way to determine the success of this year's crops.
Harvest mapping not only shows growers yield performance of specific fields, but it also displays how other management decisions made throughout the season affected the overall outcome. Aiming to improve profitability in 2011, mapping helps guide producers as they make future input and seed decisions.
Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, offers FIT® Services to help growers analyze product performance and crop inputs as well as helping them make better-informed management decisions to get the most from each acre. After harvest, growers can take advantage of the FIT Mapping service to review customized, complimentary harvest yield maps.
"Harvest mapping is a great evaluation tool for growers," says John Chism, Pioneer FIT® Services implementation manager. "It allows growers to see yield results of each field at a glance."
FIT maps offer a multitude of uses for farming operations. Chism says they can help growers provide updates to key stakeholders of an operation, such as crop insurance professionals and lenders. He notes they work well for growers with landlords and can help guide crop management discussions. The maps indicate which areas of a field may need more management attention, such as trouble spots with poor drainage.
"All that is required to receive a high-quality map is the data from the yield monitor," he says. "Growers simply provide Pioneer sales professionals with access to their data card for a few minutes and Pioneer returns a set of full-color, harvest maps within a two-week period."
Pioneer sends printed maps back to the sales professional to share with the grower. The company has a dedicated mapping center in Johnston, Iowa, on the Pioneer campus. Electronic versions of the maps are available through the grower's secure, online account or from the sales professional.
"I help with my family's farm in northwest Iowa," Chism says. "We've used FIT maps to help validate our decisions, to record which crops were planted in which fields, to compare relative yield levels and for program reports and other uses."
In addition to harvest mapping, Pioneer also offers other value-added, precision ag-based tools for customers through its sales force. Customers and prospective customers can choose from any or all of the FIT services, which include harvest mapping, a field planner, as-planted mapping or online recordkeeping.
Completing a full year's cycle of data management opens the door to additional analysis opportunities. Growers with GPS-enabled systems on their planters can take advantage of as-planted mapping in the spring to record what, when, where and how much was planted. Growers can use this data to compare with actual harvest mapping results. For example, seed planted at two different rates might show which planting rate resulted in a yield advantage.
As-Planted Maps also may work as scouting guides. If growers know they planted a variety or hybrid with high ratings for a specific disease or insect pressure, then those fields might take a lower priority for scouting than fields with lower scores.
"It's also handy for checking on the progress of new products," says Bob Gunzenhauser, Pioneer technical applications manager. "You can see the average yield of products and compare product performance within a field if those two products were split-planted side by side. It ultimately helps you plan for next year."
The online recordkeeping portion of FIT Services allows growers not only to view planting records and harvest data, but they also can add more detailed information, such as timing of fertilizer or crop protection applications.
The system has the ability to create several kinds of reports or even track precipitation to date against a 30-year average. If customers have used any of the FIT service tools, data collected from these tools automatically loads into the password-protected website. Another benefit of online recordkeeping is it allows growers to collect multiyear data sets to review for future decision-making purposes.
Currently, Pioneer is the only major seed company presenting this breadth and depth of complimentary services for customers. To learn more, talk to a local Pioneer sales professional about these offerings or visit www.pioneer.com.