As we enter yet another growing season, there is one old saying that still holds true; “The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Hybrids, varieties, fertility, weather, commodity prices, etc. all change at a rapid pace. Growers wanting to achieve maximum productivity per acre with the least amount of inputs is a constant. So how do we get these to counteractive principles to coexist on a daily basis? It can be done by using all disposable information available to make the most educated decision at a given moment. This information is called DATA.
Data can come in all shapes and sizes. It can be from personal experience on a specific field or farm, a trusting neighbor over morning coffee, your seed/fertilizer/chemical sales rep, news articles, research papers, extension service, satellite imagery, drone pictures, field scouts, etc. Data can be a powerful thing if used properly, and from a reliable source. For example, knowing GDU (growing degree units) or GDD (growing degree days) coupled with consistent crop scouting in order to accurately predict crop grow stage is a valuable data point for optimum timing of foliar fertilization. Many articles come across my email on a daily basis having to do with data. Below are just a few examples:
Use every available data point to make the most of your crop during 2016. Don’t be afraid to ask for more information and/or get clarification when using outside data when making on-farm decisions. Your lending institution will ask those same questions of you!
- Tommy Roach, Director of Specialty Products & Product Development