The National Farm Machinery Show turned 50 years old this year, and it continues to attract more than 300,000 farmers from across the nation and beyond. I spent some time at the show during the first two days, dodging and weaving in the crowded aisles over 27 acres of exhibits. Here is my first installment of items I found interesting.
In what parts of your operation, are you looking for actionable data to help make a tough decision? Keep digging into your data. More than likely, the “first layer” is only a step in the right direction. Although it may take more time, digging into a second and third data layer may provide discoveries that are well worth the effort....More
Quality data analysis relies on quality data. And quality data requires hard work and attention to detail. Even though we can use technology to make the timing gap smaller, we all must still “mind the data quality gap.”...More
We've posted a lot of great stories and photos on the web this year! These are our most-viewed pieces and cover a variety of topics from helpful aerial images to GMOs, making a profit with lower corn and soybean prices to no-till yield secrets, and more! Check out our best from the web for 2014, and stick around for more great stories and photos in 2015.
The five agriculture stories to read this week offer options for residual herbicides in soybeans, as well as tips for updating your crop yields with the Farm Service Agency under the new farm bill. Read a fertilizer outlook from Rabobank, and hear from Xpert Dan Frieberg about ag data ownership and knowledge. Finally, a happy holidays greeting from the CSD staff.
In our final list of our best stories of 2014, farmers took on fresh thinking, applying art and science to farm for the bigger picture. They saw a residue breakdown timeline and learned about new soil tests, as well as soil health. There were tips for top soybean yields and ideas about no-till saving nitrogen. One farmer shared his stance on GMOs, and other farmers collaborated for water quality.
In this third installment of our best stories from 2014, farmers learned the best ways to seed cover crops and how high-moisture corn can offer a yield boost. There were also stories about tillage: spring vs. fall strip till, and using tillage to control herbicide resistant weeds. Of course there were data insights, from soil maps to farming smarter with big data. Nitrogen application tips were offered, as well as a strategy for lean years on the farm. All of these stories helped readers and farmers Think Different about their operations.
Recently there have been headlines about agreements between the industry and farm groups on data ownership and privacy. That’s positive. But it’s really not surprising that a company would agree that you own your data and that it will be returned or removed from their servers. Or that you will be allowed to direct whom it gets shared with or sent to....More
A big challenge – nitrogen management – could have a small solution. Rowbot Systems, a Minneapolis startup company, has developed an multi-platform robot that, among other things, can side-dress nitrogen in tall corn....More
Farmers, from an agronomic perspective, are doing great keeping phosphorus loss as low as 1% to 2%. The challenge, according to University of Arkansas phosphorus expert Andrew Sharpley, “isn’t so much the magnitude of the losses, or even the tile system itself; it’s the extent to which tile drainage has been implemented by farmers.”...More
The five agriculture stories to read this week includes a new tool for farmers to use when making nitrogen application decisions, and it's used on the computer. There's also research showing soybean yield when double cropping vs. relay intercropping soybeans and wheat. Read about the possible impact crop insurance may have on ag land values, and how one farming family has success with marketing goals. Finally, enjoy a nice piece in The New York Times about agriculture and data.
I’m a believer that agronomic common sense and real world observations tell us that avoiding doubles and poor seed spacing is critical to higher yields. But they are only a few staves in a very complex agronomic rain barrel and the $ signs flashing on the monitor screen are only real if proper seed placement is your lowest stave....More
On his central Iowa corn, soybean and seed farm, Tim Couser tests agronomic practices with on-farm strip trials and new concepts. Beyond the weather, he leaves nothing to chance. “That’s what makes farming so much fun,” says Tim Couser, a Nevada, Iowa, farmer. “It’s half science and half art. Being a low cost producer takes a lot of work; the next yield breakthrough will definitely be harder to achieve.”...More
This month in particular, let's all be #thankful4ag. In doing so, go to thankful4ag.com, a cool website set up by Bayer CropScience. There, you can create a virtual holiday meal, learn some neat agriculture facts, and, the best part, help donate meals to those in need....More
Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University agronomist, planted specific cover crops in a band, then after their demise he pulled soil samples in the cover crop row and compared them to samples taken 15 inches off the row. There were substantial differences in soil-test levels of P and K—“comparable to a nutrient-banding effect from a commercial fertilizer (banding) applicator,” Gruver says....More
Can you use your data to rank each field by profitability? Obviously it’s not as easy as the highest to lowest yielding, as cost of input and operations, as well as land costs, are major pieces to be considered....More
Five agriculture stories to read this week offer considerations for potassium application, as well as yield losses due to harvest delays. Read prospects for cash rent and owned farmland returns, and get insight into using data, not averages, to help your farm operation. For a fun read, check out an old, but great, article about genetically modified farmers from The Onion.
How often have you wondered whether a new practice or piece of equipment will pay? Kenton, Ohio, farmer Brian Watkins built a computer farming simulation model to calculate the cost of such options. “It tells me how much time a piece of equipment will take to operate and repair, how much fuel will cost and how it will affect other things we do,” he says....More
The "5 Ag stories to read" this week offers tips to manage late-maturing corn, from harvesting to drying to storing. There's also insight into the impact of nitrogen prices on planting decisions. Read about a milestone for biotech crops: harvesting 4 billion acres! Get tips for managing data on your farm to help you work smarter, and check out a new use for soy.
None of us can control or even predict all the curves that Mother Nature can throw our way. But using data from your fields opens the door for you to manage the crop production variables that are manageable....More
What is your data worth? Indiana farmer and software engineer Aaron Ault notes that data exchanged in commercial agriculture can be compared to Google or Amazon—and as data sharing increases, the cost of services will decrease. "If they couldn't use our data, those services would be way out of line,” he says....More
The September issue of Corn+Soybean Digest offers a lot for readers. From data management to tips for financial success in turbulent times, what farmers learned in 2014 to strip-till tips. Check out these feature stories for insight on Ukraine corn exports, as well as marketing advice for low prices, using tillage for weed control and cover crop seed mixes.
Each level of information gathering is an opportunity for fuzzy data. Soil sampling, field mapping, yield monitoring and personal recollection are key building blocks, but they are also potential pillars of error for your precision-ag program, says independent agronomist Shannon Gomes....More