Fine Tuning Management Zones
Farmers can draw on lots of data to establish management zones, but there's no substitute for walking the field to spot variable conditions. As Farm Journal agronomists Ken Ferrie and Missy Bauer note in this video, it's essentially to make sure data in your precision ag system matches what's in the field. "Ground-truth your zones," advises Bauer, noting that she has yet to find a computer system that does a perfect job matching data with what's in the field.
Thankfully, farmers can rely on a variety of public and private data to make sure their management zones are drawn correctly. The problem is that soil maps may not be enough to explain differences in yield that would influence planting populations. Farmers may need to cross-reference soil maps with aerial images, thermal images and their knowledge of the soil. Watch the video to glean other valuable tips.