Tag Archives: GPS Yield Data

Wireless Wave for Precision is More Like a Tsunami

A wireless wave is coming to precision agriculture.  Precision pundits predict that 2012 will be the tipping point in regards to wireless solutions for precision agriculture.  The technology, the economics and most importantly ease of use has matured from a junior high science project to a viable mainstream solution in the world of precision.

Some may ask what all the hoopla is all about concerning wireless data transfer and precision agriculture.  The industry’s seasoned veterans are hoping, praying that this technology can deliver information and data services seamlessly and completely like never before.

Why is this so important?  Simple. In computer terms the industry needs a reboot – a restart – to Precision Agriculture 2.0.  Ever since the early days of the first GPS yield monitors massive amounts of data never made it the short distance from the combine to the office computer.  It is the digital equivalent of leaving a crop in the field to go to waste.

Being able to seamlessly capture “real-time” data instantly from planting to harvest may finally unlock the agronomic promises originally predicted in the early days of precision agriculture.  Plus, it literally puts a “virtual” agronomist in the field by being able to wirelessly send prescriptions to the cab and also monitor growing crops from afar.

With all this promise also come possible pitfalls. Wireless data transfer sounds wonderful – but transfer to where?  Equipment and hardware manufacturers are quickly jockeying to build the infrastructure to capture these streaming bytes of information.  The big name players – John Deere, CNH, Raven, Trimble and Ag Leader all either have a solution or have outlined their wireless plans that will roll in the coming months.

But what are hardware companies going to do with digital mountains of agronomic data?  Certainly makes you wonder what their end game is. Just how this “data” is going to be made available back to the producer?  How much is it going to cost to retrieve it?  What happens when a grower has a “mixed” set of precision hardware brands?  Is it going to be like when you need $100 cash from the bank and you have go to 5 different banks to withdraw it?

It is because of questions like these that independent data management companies like Prime Meridian have a legitimate place in this new wireless world of precision agriculture.  Why?  Because producers want a single, safe, independent home where they can go online to do their precision business.  And with wireless on the way – that business is likely to boom.

Every Field has a Story to Tell – Are you Listening?

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.