Collecting Accurate Harvest Data is Key to Making Future Management Decisions

Trying to be a more efficient manager is a common goal among farmers. How we manage our farming operations, from choosing seed trait options to herbicides, has changed greatly in recent years. We can only squeeze costs so far to achieve higher profitability. As the old saying goes, you can’t save your way to prosperity. You also need to drive higher yields. Whether you are producing low, moderate, or high yields, many costs are fixed and stay the same. That’s why return on investment (ROI) is such a popular topic of conversation these days.

There is no better way to measure profitability than by measuring the agronomics of an operation. We do this by using Precision Ag technology to measure changes across a field. One part of the field may show us that it needs higher management and more investment while another part of the field may show there is no need to waste time and money.

Agronomics in farming leads to economics. While much time is devoted to discussing “Big Data,” I believe “Small Data” is equally important. Phil Long and I get a lot of calls asking for data we have that shows response to fungicide treatments or nitrogen trials. My response is, “There is no better farm to do these trials on than your own.” Let’s see what works on your farm by using on-farm trials to measure and manage your agronomics and economics. Information about what your neighbor did on similar soils is still good information, but as you know, you run your operation differently than he does.

As we go into harvest, keep in mind the importance of gathering good data. Yield data is key to measuring agronomics and economics. Take some time to inspect your yield monitoring system. Yield monitors have mass flow, temperature, moisture, and speed sensors that require inspections and may need calibration. Calibrating your yield monitor to start harvest can be somewhat time consuming. If you do not take the time to do this, it could affect the usefulness of the yield data you gather. Always think of the end game. We are gathering this data to measure and manage for the future.

Call your Latham Precision Agronomy Advisors and ask how we can help get you started measuring your operation this fall!