21 August 2019

Fertilizing corn: using data to achieve savings

Agworld drone footage, crop circles, wheat harvest.

With corn silking completion percentages rising rapidly throughout the country, most producers will be finished with applying nitrogen and other fertilizers to their corn crop for this season. It’s now just a matter of hoping for the right conditions and carrying the crop through to harvest, when the results of this season can be tallied up.

Low commodity prices, partially offset by MFP payments, have forced producers and their agronomists to work hard on minimizing their growing costs this year, as they do most seasons. Increasingly however, they look to their farm data to help find where they can save on inputs without incurring a yield penalty.

Where yield data or spectral imagery provide a single-source snapshot of the crop and its results, it’s the financial result that matters the most, in the end. With the benefits of capturing farm data on the same platform becoming clearer every day, I’m not surprised by the number of producers that have asked us whether Agworld will be present at the upcoming Husker Harvest Days. They all tell me that they visit HHD to learn about the latest and greatest in Ag Technology, and for many producers in 2019 this means working out how to adopt a platform that can play a central role in their cropping strategy.

Agworld client, Hough Farms, field and tractor

I recently spoke to one of our clients, Jesse Hough from David City, NE, about this. Jesse, with 20 years of experience as an agricultural accountant and financial advisor before returning to the family farm, can be regarded as a true expert on this topic. Jesse: “It’s hard to find a good and independent platform that supports us with data driven decision making, but we cannot do without it if we want to maximize our profitability.”

“Agworld creates visibility in our operation which powers our data-driven strategy and, combined with the collaborative aspects of the platform, enables us to be more flexible as a business,'' Jesse told me and he is not alone. It’s this search for visibility that is driving change all across our industry.

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From planning through to harvest, every decision in growing a crop is critical and can mean the difference between making a profit, breaking even, or worse. Environmental circumstances are different every year, let’s hope that we don’t see this year’s weather pattern returning any time soon, and it’s hard to know how decisions in similar climatic conditions panned out 10 years ago, for example, unless you keep very accurate records.

This is exactly how standardized data platforms, like Agworld, help corn growers in the Midwest on a daily basis, by providing them with data to support their decision making process. HHD forms a great platform of education for growers from the Midwest and we look forward to being a part of this great event in 2020.

Zach Sheely

Zach Sheely

President Agworld USA

Zach Sheely joined Agworld in March 2012 and is currently President of Agworld's USA operations. Zach holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Westmont College. Zach has over 20 years' experience in agribusiness and is a third-generation farmer himself, hailing from a cotton & pistachio farm in Central California. Zach is passionate about finding, developing, integrating and implementing the key technologies that will enable growers, their advisors and service providers to drive agriculture into the future we know is possible.

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