Variable Rate implementation has been increasing over the last few years. The majority of users focus entirely on nutrition and furthermore Nitrogen or Nitrogen blends. The agronomy team at UYMI has learned that precision agriculture is much more than just variable rate nutrition.
When it comes to precision agriculture, UYMI agronomists utilize the 6 factors of the agronomy program within the concept of “Liebig’s Law of the Minimum”; growth is not controlled by the total resources available, but by the scarcest resource. Each farm may have a different limiting factor, and within that farm, each field or zone may again be different. In understanding this, a grower is able to set priorities on a total farm or field per field basis. Nutrition may still be the limiting factor but nitrogen may not be the only nutrient that requires priority. When discussing soil test results with your UYMI agronomist, they may address nutrients that are more limiting than Nitrogen due to their consistently declining rates. In order to correct the decline, you may be required to apply more than just crop removal rates in some or all zones of your field.
When considering Liebig’s Law of the Minimum, any of the six factors can be the limiting factor in achieving Ultimate Yield. Often making the decision to address disease or in season nutrition management is difficult, especially if the crop conditions are less than adequate. For example, in a dry year when the hill tops are burned off but the mid-slopes and hollows are still lush green with lots of yield potential, the decision to apply fungicide to the whole field is difficult. Precision ag allows the grower to vary water volume or product rate with a prescription based on topography or satellite imagery and apply the required fungicide only to the areas that will see benefit and not to the areas that are past saving. Utilizing precision ag allows the grower to address the management decision properly without sacrificing unnecessary dollars.
Precision Agriculture is proving to be a valuable tool for accurate farm management. The ability to diagnose and address issue.
Download and read complete article in Adobe Reader .pdf format