Gary Wagner of AWG Farms in Minnesota is arguably the godfather of precision agriculture in the northern Corn Belt. I’d talked to him on the phone numerous times but never got to see him in person. That is until earlier this year at the Precision Ag Summit in Jamestown, ND.
His subject was proper yield monitor calibration. This is a subject that’s near and dear to us, as we’ve puzzled over many years and articles as to why more yield monitors don’t get calibrated at the start of harvest.
About 15 minutes into a presentation that was already making me feeling overwhelmed, Gary looked around at the crowd and said, “You know, all this stuff is in the manual.” It felt like a teacher telling a group of students, “You know, this is all in the chapter you were supposed to read last night.”
I was probably reading into that a bit, and maybe this isn’t what Gary meant. Still, I did sit in amazement through a 45-minute presentation over the level of work, care, and feeding that is required to produce an accurate, calibrated, georeferenced set of yield data.
Some way, somehow, calibrated yield data has got to get simpler to collect.