Information Management to Maximize Your Yields

What Type of Data Should You Collect for Analytics?

Do you ever feel like you are collecting loads of data but it’s just sitting on a flash drive or in a cloud storage system doing little more than building a pretty map? Organizing and analyzing that data can seem like such a daunting task. Before you even get to organizing the data you need to figure out what data is worth collecting. SciMax can help you prioritize your data and use farm analytics to make more confident decisions using your data.

data storage

Farming includes many hours planning what seed to buy, how much fertilizer to apply, what rates to apply, and above all, you are playing a never-ending game of risk with mother nature. What if all that planning was paired with the confidence that you are making the best decisions with the right products and the right rates for your fields?

Throughout the season, when you are executing your meticulously thought out plan, you are often collecting valuable data that can be used to make decisions for next year. Layers and layers of data that can be used and analyzed. The piece that many growers miss is analysis–proving if your plan did or didn’t work. What type of data are we talking about?

Many base layers for analysis come from publicly available sources, such as the USDA soils database.  It’s a great start, but we move beyond the basics. Historical yield is a great way to visualize the performance of your field over the years. What has your equipment or the applicators’ equipment been tracking? Have you been soil sampling? What does your crop protection plan look like?

Use this list for a starting point of your valuable data:

  • Soil Samples
  • As-Applied (planting, nutrient and crop protection) Data
  • Harvest Files
  • Input Cost Data

Whether your data is stored in a cloud storage service, on your monitor, in your computer, or sitting with your local soil sampler, we make collecting your data easy and help you track it down. Once we have the data, our agronomic advisors analyze all the data layers to guide you to make confident decisions to maximize your profit. Without having to allocate extra time, you can take advantage of the many reports, analytics and visualizations that will help you take a deeper look at your operation.

breakeven cost per bushel price of corn

When your data is organized in our system it is ready to be analyzed and your reports are activated. An advisor will help you prioritize what aspects of your operation you should focus on. Depending on your operational goals, the data will help show you how you can achieve them. We know each operation is different and we work with you as a part of your team to help you reach the goals you’ve set. What sets us apart is that we are unbiased.  We offer a different perspective–it’s your bottom line we’re worried about. We help you find your breakeven cost per bushel and can also help you find your yield efficiency score so you can profit.

yield profitability and yield efficiency

 

Utilizing the correct data can help you determine if all those stressful choices were profitable and most importantly, if the data is telling you to change some practices to help achieve your goals. We understand that your goals and how you manage your operation are also constantly evolving.

dataview web

 

You can take all the data you’ve gathered and combine it with your economics to help you visualize where in your fields your decisions are profiting or not. By choosing to manage all of your data and allowing a SciMax Solutions Specialist to stand by your side, you have the tools to make confident, agronomic and economic decisions that best fit your field, your operation and your future.

 

*Originally posted by Premier Crop Systems*

Remove the Guessing and Make Data-Driven Decisions

As farmers face another year with challenging markets and high inputs, we as agronomic advisors continue to work with our clients in order to find where we can remove some of the guessing when it comes to the decision-making process of planning another season. It comes as no surprise to anyone that is involved in agriculture that many areas saw higher than normal precipitation in 2018.

The map below shows the state of Iowa and the departure from normal in inches of rainfall in 2018.

2018 high percipitation

(source: https://water.weather.gov/precip/  parameters from last year versus normal rainfall.)

Unfortunately, this did lead to some areas of drown outs and low yielding areas in fields. Thus, there were many areas that had little if any removals of nutrients but many growers will treat those areas the same as areas that yielded well in the field. This is just one of many examples where VRT and precision agriculture can save the grower on inputs across their farms. It is important to look not just at soil sampling and soil types but also historical yield when deciding on proper recommendations for the field. At SciMax Solutions, it is important to us to treat every field individually and not look at those fields in a cookie cutter style approach.

It is important to look at the return on investment for not just for every field or every acre, but what it is actually taking to produce every bushel. We are able to take all of the costs that are provided and quantify the grower’s yields with those costs. Does it make sense to continue to treat historically poor yielding ground the same as historically high yielding ground? Would your inputs be better spent if focused slightly more on ground that has more yield potential? It is important to us that we treat every acre in an unbiased way, as if we are farming it ourselves, and the data allows us to do that.

The example below shows a field that has been put into three different zones of productivity based upon fertility and historical yield.

premiercropmanagementzones_productivity_blog_lk

We then break that out further and show how each zone did on a per bushel basis with all the costs entered. As you can see we dropped our rates in the least productive zone because it didn’t show the same ability to produce as the other two management zones.

premiercrop_costperbushel_blog_lk

This is a great example how SciMax uses data to prove profitability. It’s time to stop guessing and use your data to make profitable decisions. Learn more here:

 

*Originally posted by Premier Crop Systems*

Save the Date: MaxYield Seed/SciMax Plot Tours

September 5th
MaxYield Seed Emmetsburg Research Plot
5-8PM

September 6th
MaxYield Seed Fostoria Research Plot
5-8 PM

September 7th
SciMax Plot Tour at Irvington Learning Center/Research Plot
10AM-Noon
1700 170th St Lu Verne, IA
Click here to see a PDF of the location.

Spray Mixing Best Practices

By Brian Thilges
Customer Development Manager, Winfield

After the past 2 weeks and 4 calls about cottage cheese like product in the bottom of the tank, I am sending out some information on how to handle/avoid it. With some of these tank mixes these days you can’t help but have slime forming in the tank. Here are a couple of tank mixing sins that people don’t think about.

1) Not following the proper mixing order. When growers and applicators follow this correct mixing order, we tend to have very few problems.

2) Not enough water in the tank before they begin to add products. These new formulations (especially Flexstar GT, Flexstar (and generics) and Halex GT) love to combine with water. If you have a high ratio of herbicide to water and/or the water is cold then tank mixing will be more difficult. If you are having a problem, START with half a tank of water before beginning to add products…. and AGITATE between products.

3) Making a new batch when the spray tank isn’t fairly close to empty. For example, a farmer starts with a 1000 gal load. He doesn’t want to run out so he heads to the well with 100+ gallons of fully formulated mix in the tank. He mixes ANOTHER 1000 gal load on top of the remaining 100 gal. Now he has a 110% mixture…. and does it AGAIN. After the fourth load he has a ~130% strength mixture and that’s when the problem ruins his day. Not only that but on average he’s paying 20% more per acre to create this mess. Either he needs to empty the prior load or only mix for just the ADDITIONAL 900 gal added to the previous remaining portion of a load.

4) Still got a problem or want to prevent one? Add one gal of compatibility agent to the load or if you don’t have compatibility agent on hand use 1 gal of Preference to the load.

Dont hesitate to contact your local MaxYield Agronomy Specialist or SciMax Specialist with any questions.

Two hybrids, one planter

Rodney multi-hybrid planterSciMax Solutions(R) continues its evaluation of multi-hybrid planter technology this spring, conducting trials again in the Emmetsburg and West Bend areas.

Data from last year’s trial indicated a 5-7-bushel-per-acre advantage for soybeans planted with the multi-variety planter. Corn showed a 3- to 8-bushel advantage.

The April 2016 issue of Wallaces Farmer featured a front-page story that detailed last year’s trials and gives a preview of whats in store for the SciMax research this year.

The entire story can be found by clicking here.

To learn more about multi-hybrid planting solutions, contact your SciMax Solutions Specialist, any MaxYield Cooperative location, or by clicking here.

Planter Check-Up Tips

As the planting season approaches it is important that we take the time to make sure our equipment is working correctly. Achieving a great stand starts with making sure the planter is set correctly.

Here is a list of suggestions for planter setup and maintenance. Be sure to talk to your equipment dealer about what else might be needed.

1. Check meters on a test stand in order to visually inspect parts and evaluate performance.
2. Inspect all mechanical drive components and look for any excessive wear including down pressure springs, parallel linkages and bushings.
3. Check seed tubes for any wear in particular the bottom section that can wear or become damaged. Replace if damaged or has excessive wear.
4. Check size, wear and spacing for opening discs; always replace disc openers in pairs.
5. Inspect gauge wheels and ensure opening discs are making proper contacting with the discs. Adjust the shims for each gauge wheel arm to ensure the correct contact with the disc.
6. Inspect closing wheels or discs and ensure bearings are in good shape and that the down force spring is properly set. Replace wheels if worn excessively.
7. For vacuum planters, check all lines for damaged tubes. Check hydraulic motor for leaks and make sure fan is clean.

Once at the field here are four important items to check:
1. Planting depth – Check periodically since seeding depth can be influenced by soil and field conditions. The planter row unit must have sufficient weight so the gauge wheels operate firmly on the soil surface.
2. Row cleaner setting – make sure the row cleaners are not tilling the soil. They are for biomass removal and only need to function or rotate when excessive biomass is encountered.
3. Closing wheel pressure – need sufficient pressure to close the furrow but adjust to the soil conditions. In general, higher pressure is needed in dry soil and light pressure in wet soil to avoid over-compaction.
4. Gauge wheel pressure – there should be sufficient contact pressure in order to firm the soil surface at the specific depth setting but not so much contact pressure that the depth wheels excessively compact soil adjacent to the seed zone.
Do not hesitate to contact your SciMax Solutions team with questions.

 

 

Save the Dates!

December 16th
SciMax Solutions and MaxYield Seed Meeting
Knights of Columbus Hall
Algona, IA
3-6PM

February 5th, 2016
SciMax Learning Group Seminar
Des Moines, IA

December/January
Stay tuned for SciMax Learning Group Meetings

Meet Chris Warren: SciMax Product Solutions Specialist

20150617_maxyield_477 (681x1024)With his analytical mind and ag in his blood, Chris Warren is excited to help SciMax Solutions clients find new ways to maximize their results and add more value to their farming operation.

We recently caught up with Chris, who joined SciMax in mid-June and is based in the West Region, to learn more about his diverse background and how he’s helping clients find the right solutions for their acres.

Q: What’s your farm background?
A: I grew up in Fairmont, MN, but spent a lot of time helping on my family’s farm near Ringsted, where my dad, Dan, raises corn and soybeans. My family’s roots run deep in the Ringsted area. Some of my ancestors came to this area before the town was founded in 1899 by Danish immigrants. I’ve always enjoyed coming back in the spring and fall to help on the farm, because agriculture means a lot to me.

Q: How does your diverse work experience add value for SciMax clients?
A: I graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in construction management. I had worked a lot of construction jobs and like working outdoors, but then the 2008 recession hit. Since the construction industry was hit hard, I looked elsewhere for work. I became a financial advisor at Ameriprise Financial for five years. I learned a lot about business and building relationships with clients.

Q: What do you enjoy about SciMax?
A: I’m an analytical person, so I like how SciMax is focused on information management. I enjoy helping clients put data in a usable form to create an action plan to help them manage nutrients better and improve efficiencies.

Q: What excites you about the future of SciMax?
A: I look forward to seeing the results from our multi-hybrid planter, which we used to plant approximately 1,300 acres this year. Our goal is to help clients find new ways to use cutting-edge technology to manage information, make smart decisions, and consistently boost their yield potential.

I also look forward to working with more SciMax clients. If you’d like to contact me, call me at 712-260-9564.

Editor’s note: Chris moved back to Ringsted in 2013. In his free time, he enjoys golfing, spending time with friends at the lake, and traveling, especially to the western United States, including Colorado.

Latham Seeds 4th Annual “Freedom Ride” – REGISTER NOW!

Nothing displays an independent spirit like an American farmer – except perhaps an American farmer on a motorcycle! That’s why this family-owned, independent seed company hosts an annual “field day on wheels.”

Join Latham Hi-Tech Seeds Saturday, August 25, 2012! They’re looking forward to hosting this year’s ride on our home turf.

You’ll learn about emerging seed technologies as you travel through scenic North Central Iowa. Our route includes a drive around Clear Lake and a special behind-the-scenes tour of Hagie Manufacturing in Clarion.

The approximate 90-mile ride will both begin and end at Latham headquarters in Alexander, Iowa. Activities will begin around 9 a.m. with registration.

A traditional Iowa-style barbecue will begin around 11:30 a.m., so riders have a chance to “fuel up” before the ride. We’ll ride in groups of 20-25 with a staggered start. The ride will end around 6 p.m. with a complimentary hog roast catered by Wholly Smoke BBQ.

Don’t have a bike but still want to enjoy the ride? Muscle cars and classic cars are welcome, too.

Register today at www.LathamSeeds.com.

Crop Tour from the Sky

The drought damage can be seen from the sky in the Emmetsburg, IA area, especially the sandy soils. When taking a crop tour last week following the storm, wind damage was also evident from the sky.

In fact, it stressed the importance of hybrid placement and keeping the right seed on the right soil.

 

 

Where the heavy soils are, the drought hasn’t seemed to affect the crops just yet.

Most of our area was fortunate enough and picked up rain in the past few days, which will continue to help fill the grain.