CPS Technology Today

Bob Schroeder

“There are no miracles in agricultural production” Norman Borlaug Father of the Green

Where have you settled on the adoption of technology in your operation?  With so many new pieces of technology to choose from where does one start?  A common theme among the field staff at CPS in Tangent has been that the technology is great where is has a fit in a growers operation, but it also must be relevant and adaptable at the speed of business.  In other words, it better not slow down the operation.  For several seasons we have looked at many pieces of technology for use in the planning, planting, growing and harvesting of crops.  Yield monitors to identify variability in fields and compare treatments, satellite and aerial imagery for building prescription maps, soil mapping and soil sampling, variable rate applications, and automatic steering and guidance for farm implements, just to name a few.  Each operation and individual has their own preferences for the tools that help them manage and operate their organizations. 

Though we are already into the season for many of our established crops, the new year is a good time to take a look at your operation and see if there are any tools available that you can be using in your management, planning, and field applications. 

Variable rate applications for lime and fertilizers – Using grid sample mapping, soil ec mapping, or yield maps to build prescription maps for your spring applications. Start your soil sampling with one field per year, do an intensive sampling program and build from there. 

Field mapping – Build your farm maps and crop plan with basic boundary maps, soils maps, and other layers and feature maps. 

Aerial imagery – Begin to think about fields that you might want to consider an aerial image of in the months of March or April for variable rate applications of nutrients, growth regulators or fungicides.

Steering and Guidance – Explore the opportunities available for automatic tractor or sprayer steering, guidance systems, and automatic boom shutoff control. 

Yield mapping – Look into adding a yield monitor to one of your combines so you can map the variability that exists in your fields and improve management decisions and strategies with the crops you produce. 

These are not miracles, but rather tools that you can consider for your operation in the seasons ahead.  Your CPS field man is a resource there to help you see if some of these tools have a place in helping you to be more efficient and more productive in your operation.