“From precision to decision” is the battle cry of many modern farm technologies. Increasingly, high-tech conservation solutions are joining the chorus.
The latest, an updated version of Agren's SoilCalculator, can estimate soil erosion and its associated economic cost by combining color-coded aerial maps of erosion (similar to a GIS yield map) with field information such as crop rotation schedules and conservation practices. Farmers can view resulting erosion predictions for up to three scenarios based on management options they have selected.
“Growers can easily evaluate alternatives side-by-side to maximize profits, conserve soil, preserve yields and reduce nutrient inputs,” says Agren CEO Tom Buman.”We are passionate about agriculture [and also about] soil and water conservation.”
The color-coded maps help pinpoint areas of high erosion. Buman says users don’t have to have GIS experience to learn SoilCalculator quickly and easily. The first soil erosion assessment can be completed after about 60 minutes of training.
Mark Stutsman, COO of Eldon C. Stutsman Inc., says high-tech conservation tools will be quite useful as pressure for water quality and environmental stewardship will increase.
“It is another layer of value we can add to the grower,” he says. “It shows our community, our friends and our neighbors that we are paying attention and doing the very best we can.”
Click here for a video series on how to use SoilCalculator. Here is an overview video about the tool: