The End to the Variability Battle

Mar 26, 2021

The End to the Variability Battle
Technology has revolutionized the way we farm. When faced with fields with inherent variability in areas such as soil texture or water holding capacity, technologies like seeding prescriptions can help increase return on investment for producers.

Formulated by Field
Many fields possess inherent variabilities in categories such as soil texture, water holding capacity, pH, salinity and cation exchange capacity, each of which can impact realistic yield potential. Utilizing technology can help mitigate the negative effects these factors can have on yield.

“Utilizing technology like fertilizer and seeding prescriptions allows you to balance input investments with realistic yield goals by zone in the field,” Northeast Region Seed Lead Clint Matthews said.

Seeding prescriptions vary the rate of seed being planted, the variety or hybrid being planted or a combination of both. Formulated for each field’s needs, these prescriptions can be tailored to match characteristics of the hybrid planted.

“Knowing what product is going to be planted and incorporating those characteristics in developing seeding prescriptions can help maximize performance and ultimately yield for the field,” Matthews said.

A recent development in precision seeding includes multi-hybrid planting. With planter technology transforming over the last decade, a new door to precision management has opened. The multi-hybrid planter allows for fast switches from one hybrid or variety to another in the blink of an eye, which allows for prescriptions to target more than just one hybrid or variety at once in addition to varying the seeding rate.

“Generally, the idea here is to choose an ‘offensive’ style product with the highest yield potential for the good zones, combined with a more ‘defensive’ style product that may lack top end, but handles the tough ground much better,” Matthews said. “Typical defensive products may include those that are more drought or salt tolerant.”

Data Driven, Research Proven
Several research trials have compared variable rate technology to stagnant rates, proving that a full-scale benefit derives from an all-encompassing approach to precision agriculture.
“You don’t realize the full potential if you only variable rate fertilizer or seed; you really need to do both,” Matthews said.

Matching seeding rates with appropriate fertility rates for a realistic yield goal by zone will optimize input investment on every acre.

“In most cases you will find that higher yielding zones are not being ‘fed’ enough to max out their true potential, while lower yielding zones are being ‘overfed,’ resulting in a negative impact on ROI,” Matthews said.

Ready to Get Started?
Our Agtegra Agronomists and Innovation Center Specialists can help you find the right products and applications for your operation. Our agronomists understand our seed products and can help you develop tailored prescriptions to use for planting and spreading fertilizer. If your equipment is not capable of precision application, our Innovation Center Specialists can offer ideas and services to equip you to utilize precision technologies.

Contact your Agtegra Agronomist or Innovation Center Specialist today to get started.

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