Applying nitrogen is both an “art” and “science.” As if mastering this craft was not hard enough, Mother Nature decided to throw farmers a curve ball: heavy precipitation.
An Ag tech expert shares how technology can help farmers with nitrogen applications.
Charlie Beeler, field research manager for The Climate Corporation, concurs: “Weather has been a challenge.”
“Last fall, we had a tough harvest season. As freeze set in, a lot of moisture was trapped in the soil. Water has a higher capacity than the soil material around it. What we’re seeing this spring is below average trends. The first week of March, we saw soil temperatures 10 degrees below the same time last year,” Beeler said.
Recent weather events require flexibility from farmers. Beeler says, “Growers will be pushed out of their comfort zones with nitrogen management plans.” However, The Climate Corporation offers support in this “uncomfortable” task with their Climate FieldView platform.
“We have a nitrogen adviser in the platform. This adviser is using soil data, weather trends (and) years of agronomic trials to help predicatively model how that nitrogen is going to behave,” Beeler said. “When a grower is thinking about new programs to try, they can plug in some of their split applications, explore different options and begin to understand how it’s going to effect their crop relative to their yield goals.”
Another key benefit to Climate FieldView is mapping treatments, according to Beeler.
“Any pass through the field, you can map today. That’s a huge benefit to growers as they try out new programs or products they’re not familiar with/ They can map those applications and then go back, after having harvest results, and understand the impact those decisions had on their farm, so they can be more informed and make sound decisions moving into sequential seasons,” Beeler said.