Everything you need to know: Busting planting season’s top 5 myths
To ensure a successful planting season, preparation is key. The ideal season is one where operations run efficiently, waste is minimal, and farm profitability is maximized. Precision farming technology can help in all these areas to make your life easier and your farming operation run more smoothly.
Start the Season Right
We know getting your crops in the ground in a timely manner is number one on your priority list. After all, the success of the rest of the year relies on it. Planting season has its challenges, but precision agriculture can help take the guesswork out of farming by helping you farm more efficiently and make data-driven decisions on the go. Precision ag can support you to prepare your fields, sample soil accurately, ensure your seeds are precisely placed, and help you manage the rate at which they’re planted – as well as minimize waste when applying fertilizer. These things help your operation run more smoothly, save you valuable time and expenses, and help you get back to your family sooner.
Get the Facts: Busting the Myths About Planting Season
MYTH: Field overlap is just a part of farming with multiple pieces of farm equipment, especially when fields are irregularly shaped.
TRUTH: Guidance and steering systems can significantly lower the amount of overlaps (or skips) in your fields. Not only will you save money on fuel costs, but also will be more accurate with seeding and spraying. You can choose to go the assisted steering route or go fully automated to stay hands-free ensuring you are able to keep an eye on your other equipment. We recommend the Autopilot Automated Steering System to help you accurately work your irregularly shaped fields.
MYTH: The type of soil sampling I do works just fine for me. It tells me all the information I need to know.
TRUTH : Soil sampling is certainly beneficial in helping with decisions that need to be made, especially when using managed random sampling or benchmark sampling. However, Advisor Prime which comes with the Trimble® Ag Mobile app, makes the process easier than ever. Users can work with any soil lab and take advantage of our streamlined process to import soil test results.
MYTH: Yield monitoring isn’t worth the money. I don’t want to invest in something where I’m not even sure how accurate it will be.
TRUTH: Yield monitors assist in different farming practices such as seed selection, future plots, fertilizer removal rates, grain loads, and auto cut width and then show this information on a monitor in the cab of the tractor. This input is then formatted into a yield map which can show which areas of your farm are more profitable and then help you get the other areas up to where they should be. As far as determining if yield monitors are worth the cost depends largely on how you use them. Many farmers have found it pays for itself in a year’s time.
MYTH: Spreading uniform seed on my fields is really the only option for small outfit farmers.
TRUTH: Variable Rate Technology (VRT) is useful no matter the size of your farm. VRT allows you to apply the optimum type and amount of seed in any specific area of your field. This practice can also be applied to chemicals and fertilizers. Use in conjunction with the Trimble® Field-IQ ISOBUS Liquid Control System to reduce input costs. You can use these records of inputs to help with future decision-making. There’s no doubt there is some trial and error involved, but the savings from reducing input costs coupled with eliminating overlaps can add up to big returns over time.
MYTH: Data integration isn’t worth it. The learning curve is too great and not worth my time.
TRUTH: While we know data integration can certainly be tricky, with a little knowledge of how it works and a little patience, it can truly change the day-to-day operations on your farm. A few tips we have to offer are to make sure all systems are compatible, regularly calibrate and service your technology solutions, get to know the technology you’re using, and investigate high-speed Internet options in your area. Trimble ISOBUS technology ensures connectivity so that all your pieces of equipment can communicate with each other regardless of the equipment brand. As always, we strongly recommend talking with your local Trimble Reseller to discuss options that best suit your specific farming operation.
While there is an initial investment upfront, precision farming pays for itself over time. Try one of our Savings Calculators to see how much you can save on your farm. It truly can take your farm to the next level and have things running smoother and more efficiently than ever before. Connect with your local Trimble Reseller to learn more about how to prepare your farm for planting season.