Harvest 2011 is in the books. But if you collected GPS yield data it still has a story to tell.
When producers question us about what is the most important piece of precision agriculture data – without hesitation our answer is yield data. Why? It is the last chapter in the book. It is the summary of all the management decisions you made during the crop year on a particular field.
Yield maps literally help paint a picture of a particular field’s personality. Strengths. Weaknesses. All are revealed in digital living color. Making major agronomic decisions however based on one year’s worth of yield data is sort of like getting married after only one date. Agronomy professionals say that most fields only reveal their true personalities after being tested by Mother Nature over the course of three to four years.
That’s why if growers want to graduate to the agronomic perks that precision ag can offer like variable-rate seeding and multiple-zone field fertility recommendations they need back to back to back years of yield data. Then through analytical agronomic tools like “normalized” yield maps you can better predict the tendencies of each acre and manage accordingly.
This is why those of us at Prime Meridian share such a passion in regards to the collection, calibration and preservation of combine GPS yield data. It is one of the main reasons we created our “Precision Prep” program for monitors to ensure data is properly organized and collected at the time of harvest. It also is why we offer either remote or on-site yield monitor calibration assistance for nearly any brand of yield monitor because only good data leads to good agronomy. And finally, it is why we offer producers free online storage for yield and other important agronomic GPS information through our online web portal called AgriMAX.
If you have been collecting and using yield data for years to make management decisions – then good for you. If not, your farms and fields still have a story to tell. You can never recreate GPS yield data. The Good Lord and Mother Nature only give producers so many harvests in a lifetime. So make each one count and make sure you harvest and store the digital crop of data as well as the one that showed up in your grain tank.