When farmers are looking to step into variable the first consideration is collecting all of the necessary data.
“The most important thing is that they are going to need four to six years of reliable data to come up with zone maps,” says Brad Beutke who presented on the topic at the 2011 Corn College. “This includes well-calibrated yield maps, soil test maps, soil line maps, and remote sensing technology.”
Those data layers can then be stacked on top of each other to refine managements zones in the field.
“We work in management zones based on soil types and then make adjustments based on the other data,” Beutke says. “We can refine zones to 3 to 7 acres.”
Once the lines are drawn on the map, farmers should conduct on-farm plots to verify how their fields will respond to variable-rate application and determine population and nitrogen rates.
“The biggest hurdle to adopting variable rate is collecting the data and establishing the management zones,” Beutke says. “With the new equipment and technologies making variable rate work in the field is easier than ever.”
Make Plans to Attend these Upcoming Corn College Events
Can’t make it to one of the Illinois Corn Colleges? Check these out.
Soybean College: Aug. 1 to 2., Coldwater, Mich.
With a large focus on in-field diagnostics, let Farm Journal Associate Field Agronomist Missy Bauer teach you the secrets to soybean production. This event will focus on fundamentals, soybean growth and take-home knowledge of how to raise better beans. World-record soybean yield farmer Kip Cullers will present a special breakout session. Click here to register
Corn College “Fundamentals”: Aug. 3 to 4, Coldwater, Mich.
The Farm Journal Corn College Fundamentals session provides practical, hands-on training to help corn growers advance their production skills, increase yields and improve their profitability. This session is geared for the first-time Corn College attendee and will provide them with the core knowledge of how to use the Systems Approach on their farm. Click here to register