5 Reasons to Hire a Crop Consultant
The Midwest is looking at tough times, with the USDA predicting another downturn in the farm economy in 2016.
Corn and soybean prices are low. The outlook isn’t exactly rosy.
So when commodity prices are down, the natural inclination is to spend as little as possible to minimize major expenses. Before you start striking through all those line items, however, be sure you’re not eliminating one of the most important pieces of your farm plan – your area agronomist.
Here are five reasons why you should be working even more closely with your crop consultant in 2016.
Increasing yields may not be the dream goal in a tight year, but maximizing your profit should be. When you’ve got your input purchases down to the line, you want to be sure there isn’t any wiggle room on either end. Having a crop consultant working hand-in-hand with you gives you a leg up on your competition. Regular checks on your fields means you know someone is out there tracking disease pressure, staying ahead of any pest or weed challenges, and ensuring irrigation scheduling is staying on track. Having an agronomist who understands the proper timing of herbicides and pesticides application is critical. The timing of any of your applications is necessary to maximize each dollar spent.
Effective Input Planning
Your agronomist can help take your farm data from previous years and ensure that you’re utilizing all of your inputs to their greatest efficiency. Your agronomist can help track efficacy of different herbicides and pesticides in your field, giving you the insight needed to make the right purchases when it comes application time. This is important because of the ever changing development of resistant weeds. Without monitoring and knowing these challenges you’re not maximizing pesticide efficiency.
Tracking New Technology
Technology in agriculture is moving at a breakneck speed. Whether it’s the latest biochemistry, seed varieties and hybrids, or new computers out in the field or on the combine, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of the latest developments in ag technology. One of your agronomist’s jobs is to keep abreast of the rapidly changing availability and applications of cutting-edge tech.
Keeping Up with Labels
Just like above with technology, your agronomist should be well versed on changing labels for herbicide and pesticide usage. Has the window for application expanded in the past year? Has the temperature or weed size range for maximum efficiency changed? Can you reduce crop leaf burn with different additives? In tight years, having the latest knowledge of your inputs can mean the difference between saving the crop and nuking it.
Precision, Precision, Precision
You’ve heard it before. You’ll hear it again. Precision ag applications that use actionable, useful data can be the saving grace out in your field. The more (good) data you have, the better decisions you can make at every point of the growing season. Pre-season soil moisture monitoring you can help you adjust your seeding rates. Effective grid sampling can ensure you’re putting the right variety or hybrid in the right spot. The data you gain from effective grid sampling allows you to put your fertilizer where additional help is needed while avoiding spots where it isn’t. Aerial imaging throughout the season can spot problem spots that may not be visible to the naked eye. These images are georeferenced so you can easily locate and identify these problem spots in a timely manner. That’s a lot of data to have to sift through, and having a crop consultant in your corner that can interpret and ground-truth that data is worth its weight in bushels.
For more information on how Servi-Tech can help you maximize your yields in feast and famine alike, contact your local agronomist or visit our Crop Consulting and Precision Ag pages for more information.