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Get the Most from Agronomic Records

December 21, 2011
By: Margy Eckelkamp, Farm Journal Machinery Editor and Test Plot Director

In Episode 13 of Corn College TV, Farm Journal Field Agronomist Ken Ferrie gives you tips on how to manage farm records.

“With farm records you keep collecting more and more data year after year,” Ferrie says. “You’ve got to have a system in place to keep up with all that information.”
Ferrie says the first tip he gives farmers is to take notes, save those notes and look back at what they said.
“A farmer needs to be able to get their hands on past records fairly easy to make comparisons year to year,” Ferrie says. “Any notes on a soil sampling map, an NDVI map, or a yield map are helpful because three to four years from now it’s easy to not remember why that happened.”
In addition to remembering what happened, Ferrie says it’s important to have everyone necessary around the table when discussing field records.
“It’s crucial that we tie everyone together,” he says. “It’s important to have a way for everyone who made a pass across a field and has something to contribute.”
And it’s important to note that data management isn’t just an end of the year concern—it’s a year-long process.
“Data management is full circle. During the year, you could see something in the soil sampling process or in an NDVI map that will change your production practices,” Ferrie explains. “Then the conclusion every year is the well calibrated yield map that provides information for the next decision making cycle.”
Learn more about taking the time this winter with practical tips from Ferrie in episode 13 of Corn College TV.

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