Put Crop Inputs Where They’ll Do Most Good

Mike Christensen, Agronomy Division Manager

Are you ready to try variable rate planting (VRP) this spring? Your Countryside sales agronomist can write a prescription using your soil types, past aerial and satellite images, and the data your yield monitor gathered last fall.

We’re writing most VRP prescriptions using WinField® United’s R7® tool. We’re seeing good repeatability from what the satellite imaging is showing and what last year’s yields were.

Part of the reason for the interest in VRP is that there are so many differences in soil types and yields within a field. As the economy tightens, growers want to make sure they are spending money where it will do the most good. They want to treat zones with high yield potential differently than zones with low yield potential.

Take corn, for example. Your VRP planting population may vary by as many as 1,000 seeds between zones. If your seed costs $300 a bag for 80,000 kernels, you could save up to $4 per acre between two zones. If your field contains five zones of variability, you could save up to $16/A between the zone of lowest potential and the zone of highest potential.

A Word of Caution: If you vary your population that much, make sure you feed the corn in the better zones enough groceries (nitrogen and sulfur) to reach its potential.


Try our new field forecasting tool

The other piece of technology you can try this season is WinField® United’s R7® Field Forecasting Tool (FFT) Once you’ve planted your seed, we can use this tool as a barometer to tell if we’re doing the right thing in-season.

At the beginning of the season, we’ll load data like variety, population, soil type, and fertilizer application into FFT. Then, using live weather data, the tool will help you and your Countryside sales agronomist understand if nitrogen and potassium levels are sufficient or deficient. If deficient, we can apply more in season to reach the crop’s yield potential.

            Call your Countryside sales agronomist and ask them about VRP and the FFT.

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