Deciphering Ag Technology

Feb 11, 2020


Deciphering Ag Technology
Working with growers, I often find myself explaining all the Ag Tech tools Great Bend Co-op has to offer. About halfway through my pitch I often notice a look of confusion due to the array of tools we have to offer. I realize that trying to decide which tool will provide the most benefit for your operation can be just about as overwhelming as using the tool itself. Working together, we can make this decision as painless as possible.

The first thing to discuss is what is the primary goal you wish to accomplish with the addition of technology. Often the first thing that comes to mind is profitability, but we need to dive deeper into that. We can start by determining what you are capable of with the equipment you currently own. Do you have hydraulic or electric drives on your planter? Do you have mapping capability in your tractor or combine? If you have some of these things, the first and easiest step is to use the tools you already have. We can use your yield maps from your combine to start looking at the variability in your fields. After all, you may as well use all the fancy tools that combine has to offer.
              
Seeing variability when your harvesting and seeing it on paper are two very different things. The lower yielding areas are often much bigger than we realize. Once we analyze this data, we can discuss incorporating variable rate fertility and/or seeding. This allows us to bring expenses down in the lower yielding areas and raising the ROI.
              
If you’re not ready to begin your journey into variable rate technology, another option might be crop modeling. This is a new technology that simply helps us time fertility applications to make sure we are applying our inputs at the optimal time of plant development to ensure maximum yield potential. This might be a less intrusive way to start your journey into ag tech because we are not changing as much of your management.
              
Ag technology tools are here to help make your operation more profitable and successful. Although they can seem daunting or overwhelming, they can truly be great tools to help in times of low commodity prices. Wherever you are on your ag tech journey, the staff at Great Bend Co-op is here to help educate and guide you along the way to being more profitable.

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