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Getting more from data

Jeff Caldwell 12/15/2010 @ 2:03pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Farmers are starting to put precision tools – and the data they glean – to better use.

“They’re getting good information. They can see that variety A made X number of bushels per acre, and so on. Then they can go to their fertilizer and seed companies and say, ‘These did better, and I want more of that,’ ” says Mike Brandert, a Deere AMS consultant with Platte Valley Equipment in Fremont, Nebraska.

Chris Weydert takes it a step further. On his farm near Bode in north-central Iowa, he layers crop input variables on maps to reflect the “most advantageous practices to stack.” It’s a major departure from a few short years ago, when the data-management approach was much less structured.

“Now, we can see what are the most advantageous practices to stack,” Weydert says.

Some crop advisers are starting to collect wider-scale data to show how inputs are performing across larger geographies.

“When we can see it across thousands of acres, we can get a better idea of the trend and what is truly happening,” says Bryan Arndorfer, crop adviser with Precision Management Services in Bancroft, Iowa.  

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