It used to be, the only way to determine what exactly is going on with your crop was to walk the fields and take notes. While there’s still no substitute for getting your boots dirty, some simple technologies can make the job of spotting and acting on in-field challenges a lot easier. John Fulton, Associate Professor of Precision Agriculture at Ohio State University, shares his best advice.
Watch for signs of poor nutrient uptake and soil compaction, among other things, and you don’t need elaborate precision equipment to do it. The technology on your smartphone will go a long way.
Several free apps are available for download that enable you to identify issues, take a picture of them, determine their exact location for later and share with others such as your agronomist, consultant or retailer. You can do that through texting too, but it’s nice to have something with GPS that lets you drop a location pin so you can go back and find the exact spot.
There are lots of free apps on the market today. If you’re not comfortable with apps, just use your smartphone to take a picture of issues you see in your field, and many offer the ability to write directly on the image and share it later.