7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #4 Application and Data Recording

One-size-fits-all fertilizer applications are quickly becoming relics of the past as they move over to make way for the site-specific applications inherent to precision agriculture. New technology has not only improved the accuracy and efficiency of applications, but also the accessibility to large amounts of data for both retailers and growers.

“Accurate application of any product depends upon accurate machine calibration, whether you are applying solid or liquid products,” says Ryan Lemke, director of precision ag at Heartland Co-op. “A majority of application problems can be resolved through proper calibration.”

“Visual inspections are also important to make sure equipment is functioning properly,” he continues. “Additionally, scale tickets help target problems. If weights and volumes in the field aren’t measuring up, we can recalibrate or troubleshoot our machine to make sure it is operating correctly.”

For growers who prefer making their own applications, Lemke recommends seeking out someone reliable who can offer guidance and calibration advice.

Data Recording

Data recording is a critical part of the application process because it provides detailed information that growers and retailers can use to measure return on investment and to assess placement. Many retailers have put in place or are currently engaged in purchasing or developing electronic systems that automatically transfer data to and from the field in a secure and controlled manner. These systems improve communications, allow for last minute changes, assist with inventory and asset management and enable remote customer support.

Lemke says growers’ biggest challenge may be in sifting through the massive amounts of data they collect. “Most of our growers are far more interested in results and answers rather than data mining,” Lemke says. “This is where retailers come in. They can provide systems that improve profit per acre and help growers manage data that will be useful for decision making.”

“We work in an industry of commodities,” says Lemke. “In my opinion, data is the newest and most valuable of agricultural commodities because anyone can collect it, but to effectively use it to provide answers will create differentiation.”


Application Checklist

DRY

  • Have I calibrated with a pan test?
  • Is my spread appropriate for the type of product I am applying?
  • Are my spinner blades worn or bent?
  • Is there lime or fertilizer build up on my spinner blades?
  • Is the delivery point to my spinners correct?

LIQUID

  • Have I done a bucket test for calibration?
  • Do I need to replace my nozzles?
  • Are my hoses and pipes crimped, cracked or blocked?
  • Have I checked my pump for wear and tear?

ANHYDROUS AMMONIA

  • Are my knives in good condition?
  • Do my knives penetrate the soil and distribute the product evenly?
  • Are my hoses and pipes free of leaks and obstructions?

*Courtesy of Tom Hecht, Operations Supervisor, The Andersons, Inc.


Sponsored by PotashCorpAbout The Series

The fertility program is at the heart of a comprehensive cropping plan, and at the center of influence in the relationship between ag retailers and grower-customers.

To highlight the important aspects of fertilizer management programs, CropLife® magazine and sponsor PotashCorp are pleased to present the Seven Keys to Delivering Effective Fertility Programs.

Leave a Reply

7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs Stories

7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #7 Scorecarding
November 1, 2013
Scorecarding, in the agricultural sense, is a way to evaluate management practices on your farm. In essence, you examine the Read More
7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #6 Yield Data
October 1, 2013
Using yield/harvest data to determine if a fertility program is successful is a tricky business. Answers aren’t always apparent. A Read More
7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #5 In-Season Scouting
September 1, 2013
A solid integrated pest management (ipm) program wouldn’t be nearly as valuable without a consistent in-season scouting program at its Read More
7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs7 Keys To Delivering Effective Fertility Programs: #3 Developing The Prescription
July 1, 2013
On the surface, developing fertilizer prescriptions appears simple. Scrutinize soil test numbers, churn out recommendations, watch the bushels multiply. In Read More
Trending Articles
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More
Potash Corp Agrium
Crop InputsAgrium, Potash Corp To Merge To Create $36 Billion Company
September 12, 2016
Canada’s Agrium Inc. and Potash Corp of Saskatchewan Inc. have agreed to combine in a deal that would create a Read More
Osage Co-op Elevator Osage, IA Finished Building
OpinionAre We Crazy?
September 8, 2016
At some point in the first few months of my employment here at CropLife® magazine, I started getting curious about Read More
ManagementMAGIE 2016 Highlights and Deere Anti-Trust
September 1, 2016
CropLife Editor Eric Sfiligoj discusses the recent Midwest AG Industries Exposition and the Department of Justice’s objection to John Deere Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Latest News
Syngenta Seedcare Institute
Seed/BiotechSyngenta Opens New North America Seedcare Institute In …
September 23, 2016
Syngenta unveiled its new Seedcare Institute in Stanton, MN, during a recent grand opening celebration. More than 150 industry leaders, Read More
StewardshipMonsanto Invests $1.6 Million In System To Quantify Gre…
September 23, 2016
The USDA – Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) recently awarded the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) and its Soil Health Read More
Pipe rack
LegislationCourt Sides With Ag Retailers On PSM
September 23, 2016
The D.C. Court of Appeals has ruled the Occupational Safety and Health Administration violated the Occupational Safety and Health Act when Read More
ManagementPacific Coast Fertilizer Announces Interest In Longview…
September 22, 2016
Pacific Coast Fertilizer LP (PCF) announced at the Cowlitz Economic Development Council board of directors meeting its interest in developing Read More
Young corn plants in soil
UncategorizedCool Planet Raises Additional $9 Million To Commerciali…
September 22, 2016
Cool Planet has announced the first close of a new financing round to commercialize the company’s Cool Terra Engineered Biocarbon Read More
Crop InputsJim Loar Promoted To President And CEO Of Cool Planet
September 22, 2016
In a move that reflects and reinforces the company’s commitment to the agricultural market, the Cool Planet board of directors Read More
BlendersNorth Dakota Coop Debuts Dry Fertilizer Plant
September 22, 2016
North Central Grain Cooperative has begun operations at a new dry fertilizer plant at its Rolla, ND, site. It is Read More
Crop InputsMonsanto, Bayer Officials Defend Proposed $66 Billion M…
September 21, 2016
Top officials for Monsanto and Bayer defended their proposed $66 billion merger before skeptical senators on Tuesday, insisting that the Read More
ManagementUpcoming Shows & Recent Events
September 19, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about upcoming trade shows and events and review the Mid America CropLife Association Read More
Industry NewsVerdesian Life Sciences Appoints New CEO
September 19, 2016
Verdesian Life Sciences, a plant health and nutrition company, today announced that its board of directors has named Kenneth M. Avery Read More
Corn
Crop InputsEPA Settles With Syngenta For Alleged Multi-Regional Pe…
September 19, 2016
The U.S. EPA has announced a multi-region settlement with Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC (Syngenta) in Greensboro, NC, for alleged violations of Read More
ManagementMerger Mania
September 16, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss this week’s mega-ag mergers of Bayer and Monsanto and Potash and Agrium. Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsMonsanto Ends Up Being A Bargain For Bayer
September 16, 2016
History will say Bayer got a bargain in its $66 billion purchase of Monsanto, writes David Nicklaus, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The Read More
Greg Musson, Gar Tootelian
CropLife 100California Ag Retailer Steps Up To Feed Families Affect…
September 16, 2016
GAR Tootelian, Inc. (GAR) in Reedley, CA, is challenging the Central Valley to help raise enough money and provide 525,000 meals Read More
Crop InputsBayer, Monsanto CEOs Discuss Merger
September 15, 2016
Werner Baumann, Bayer CEO, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto CEO, discuss why they decided to merge their companies. Read More
Corn close up
Crop InputsNY Times: Bayer-Monsanto a Bad Deal for Farmers
September 15, 2016
Via NY Times: Don Halcomb, a 63-year-old farmer in Adairville, KY, is expecting his profit to vanish this year, largely Read More
Werner Baumann, Bayer AG, and Hugh Grant, Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Merger Creates New Global Ag Giant
September 14, 2016
During the whole of 2016, many of the companies that do business in the agricultural industry have concluded the best Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Crop InputsBayer-Monsanto Mega-Merger: 6 Things You Need To Know
September 14, 2016
Mega mergers have become almost routine in the agricultural industry. Right on the heels of Monday’s news that fertilizer giants Potash Read More