It’s one thing to read, write, or know about helping customers best manage their fields – it’s another to put it into action, to go into the field and do it ourselves, writes Jacob Maurer on PrecisionAg.com.
Understanding and making data actionable and best use of the John Deere Operations Center are two topics I’ve recently discussed. Earlier this year, I was granted the opportunity to be a decision-maker as part of a collaborative team in charge of a 90-acre research farm in North Dakota’s southern Red River Valley. I felt this to be the perfect chance to now show how I, as an agronomist and farm manager, took my own advice and actually used those strategies in the field.
Setting the Stage
This research farm, or land lab as we call it, is a three-year project. At the start, I was given an FSA map of the ground, a SSURGO soil map, and a set of zone soil samples that had been collected the previous year.
This relatively small amount of information made me realize my best strategy for really getting to know this farm was to take my own advice and break it down into smaller pieces – namely by agronomic event. In the past, the parcel had been farmed as a whole; I chose to split it into two pieces. This was for several reasons, the biggest was to generate two complete datasets per year instead of one.