Management of failing zones and fields performing poorly.
Users of Cropio’s farm management system can receive notifications when any area of field vegetation falls below 15% compared with the rest of the same field. In all honesty, we did not succeed in using this function well. Generally, those notifications tend to come in during the middle of another process and those conditions may very well have changed by the time a user is able to attend to the notifications.
For this reason, we established a weekly review of all fields that were performing poorly. Analysts were assigned to put together a scouting report or review for each agronomist every week. Those agronomists then visited each of the non-performing fields, located detailed reasons for the poor results, and detailed the necessary steps to achieve improvement in those results. Lists of tasks were then assembled by the analysts, who then checked up on the progress of every field that needed more direct intervention. This process contributed greatly to our increase in productivity, because we knew right away which fields had abnormal vegetation and we were able to respond appropriately.
Cropio’s system also allows users to make VRA field maps with respect to the application of nitrogen, using current satellite images and nitrogen deficit. We were unable to test this function for several reasons, the primary of which was a lack of suitable equipment. However, we did check the amount of recommended nitrogen in Cropio’s system against another, with a recommended result 13% lower. In future seasons, we will attempt to utilize that margin too.
Harvest planner function.
The harvest planner function in Cropio was used to begin from the fields which were driest and then which ones were allowing wet grain to remain on the field. Cropio’s recommendations were not always able to be followed, but overall we were able to structure our harvesting efforts efficiently, keeping the dry grain separated from the grain that needed more processing.
In summary, we were highly satisfied:
– Each system resulted in higher productivity, with a range from 2-18%, which varied based on the crops and their varieties;
– The best system resulted in an increase of 13-18% in yields for the crops and varieties we compared but at the same cost per acre, which was of absolute importance;
– The experiments we conducted help us to discover several drawbacks with respect to the technologies we were already using, and thus we were able to make several changes in the methods we now use;
– Next season will provide us with many opportunities to make improvements, such as exact weather for every field, VRA, and connecting our GPS tracking and farm management systems, along with other features.
Finally, I would like to emphasize one last item of importance: there is no system of farm management that will work miracles. Users must understand any system and make a concerted effort to put the technology to effective use, but it is worth the effort. In my situation, the field agronomists resisted my efforts, as they were accustomed to working in a particular manner and were hesitant to change. Despite the obstacles, we were able to make it work.