Dir. of Precision Ag, Michael Kempke, and Specialist, Brady Eakes, review a zone map they created for a farmer.  Photo by Trevor Hands.
The Precision Ag team has a few new offerings and updates to add to their product lineup, says Director of Precision Ag, Michael Kempke.  
This spring, the team will be looking to try out a new product from Winfield United "R7 Field Forecasting" which aims to help determine crop health on corn and soybeans.  They are looking for a farmer in the Grant County area, one in Finney County and one in the Scott / Lane County area to conduct a trial run of the tool.  
They wll be conducting soil fertility samples prior to planting, speaking with the farmers to determine what hybrid was planted and at what population, and with that information, they will monitor the crop throughout it's growing season through tissue sampling, weather data and irrigation applications.  
What the tool will be able to do is determine yield potential of that crop as changes in weather and plant health occur.  "With that information, we hope to fine-tune yield potential throughout the growing season by either variably applying nitrogen and potassium, or key micronutrient products that that crop might be missing over the growing season," said Kempke.  
The tool will also, in the very near future, have the capability to predict a disease outbreak that might require a fungicide.
Having the seed variety information, the R7 tool will give the team information on how the seed responds to nitrogen, seed population, as well as the response to varying the hybrid across the field (as long as the planter supports such application).
Last fall harvest, the team rolled out a new offering by The Climate Corporation/Monsanto, called "Climate Fieldview."  Using a small device called the "Climate Fieldview Drive" that plugs into the 9-pin diagnostic port of a tractor or combine, the device pairs through Bluetooth onto mobile, tablet or laptop through the Climate Fieldview app or website.  The Drive collects information that is sent to the app.  The app, Kempke states, "will help you visualize as you go through the field what your yield is, what your planting population is, or what your fertility prescription looks like as you go through the various zones within your field."
The app requires an account with username and password.  It has customizable boundry zones, allowing for dividing up different field structures.  The app uses weather station data to give a projected rainfall for any field and then after the weather event occurs, will calibrate the precipitation data and give you that amount within 24-48 hours.  It also features satellite imagery and radar, allowing you to zero in on a particular field and will give you an NDVI (or Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) image or a scouting map to show any areas spiking that might indicate a pest or disease outbreak. 
Climate Fieldview will be able to integrate into GCC Precision Ag's main platform, "Field Reveal" (formerly MZB). "With Field Reveal, we'll be able to pull your yield data information in, clean it up, and then use that as a potential layer in deriving the management zones we currently use for our fertility prescriptions and our seed presriptions," Kempke says.  
Lastly, Garden City Co-op's Precision Ag Department has two different soil moisture probes available.  Kempke explains, "Basically they're two capacitance moisture probes:  one being our Aqua Systems package that goes off a volumetric reading that shows you inches of available water versus our AquaSpy package that shows you a percentage of available water."  Kempke goes on to say that both probes perform very well in our territory so it's only a matter of personal preference which one a farmer would want to choose.  
If you would like to get more precise with your seeding, fertility or irrigation management, give our Precision Ag specialists a call at 620-275-6161.