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Senior Advisor

Re: Ask the Expert - Harvest Data - Good Morning!

Sorry, I have to go load corn and can't stick around. What assurance do farmers have that data which is processed by some other company is not secretly used by that company against the farmers wishes? How does a farmer protect himself from his data being obtained from a partner company by a hacker, by someone filing suit for the data? What I'm getting at is that if data is known to exist and is of some value to a third party, how does the farmer defend oneself against that? It's a bit like opening Pandora's box. You can't put things back in.
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Contributor

Re: Analyzing Harvest Data

Question: For example, does one lay a yield map on a topographical map, on soil types, on fertilizer application maps, on soil test maps, and so forth?

 

Answer: This is a great example of the information that growers like to layer and analyze, but again, it can be very difficult to interpret. Because it can be so difficult to interpret which factors most influenced yield, growers often lean on partners to help make those determinations. Growers shouldn’t burden themselves to be an expert of all things. If you have questions about how to interpret your information, surround yourself with others that can help you and teach you how to get more involved. The John Deere Operations Center not only provides tools to help growers interpret the data on their own, but the Operations Center also allows growers to establish partnerships with their advisors. A partnership is created by the grower and allows them to determine what data they want to share with their partners. Once a partnership is established in Operations Center, the data will be automatically shared with their advisors so that they can help growers evaluate the data and turn it into insights.  

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Senior Advisor

Re: Ask the Expert - Harvest Data - Good Morning!

Some companies seem to have proprietary software. It's hard to make Trimble and Deere and AgLeader and AGCO and other systems all talk easily to each other. Many farmers like a certain feature of some equipment or software and don't like to feel forced to pick one and reject the others. Way back when, many tractors had their own 3 point system before they were standardized - hydraulics have finally gotten more standardized - people are always trying to find ways to run Apple programs on PCs or an Android App on an iPhone. Are there ways that a farmer can get the best of all systems without being smothered by just one?
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Veteran Contributor

Re: Ask the Expert - Harvest Data

The information you collect is only valuable if it’s accurate. So what needs to be done to ensure yield monitor data is accurate? How often should you calibrate your combine? If your yield monitor stops running in the middle of the field, is it worth the time lost to stop and fix it so you have accurate data?

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Ask the Expert - Harvest Data

A few more questions on yield monitors and using the data they collect to make decisions:

Do I need to calibrate my yield monitor if I’m just looking to compare relative differences between fields? Can I use a yield monitor to tell the difference between split-planter treatments or split-pesticide treatments in a field? Which hybrid should I use to calibrate my yield monitor if I’m harvesting a split-planter field? Can I use a yield monitor to evaluate performance differences in variety plots or test plots?

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Contributor

Re: Ask the Expert

To answer the final question posted on “how much does seed treatment, herbicide programs and planter-pass fertilization have to do with uniform emergence?”, I reached out for help from one of John Deere’s corporate agronomists for some additional insights. His comments are below.

 

Achieving even emergence is a rather complicated 

process. In fact, no one factor is dominant

in all situations. For the three factors of

Seed Treatments- seed treatments generally

contain fungicides and in some cases 

additional insecticides. Thus if seedling 

diseases or insects are problems, then 

seed treatments could enhance emergence. 

Although seed treatments generally are used

to protect plant populations. 

Herbicide Programs- unless weed pressure

at planting is unusually high, the presence

of weeds will have little or no effect on emergence. 

But emergence only takes about 5-20 days,

And weed control is a season-long need. 

Uncontrolled weed growth after emergence

is completed could make corn stands look 

ragged. 

Planter-pass fertilization- because emergence 

only takes a few days, there is typically enough

energy and nutrients in the seed to accomplish emergence

without any added nutrients. Planter-pass

nutrient applications are more important later

on; namely in promoting early-season seedling 

vigor from the V1-V5 growth stages. In fact,

at-planting N+K rates >10 lbs/acre can 

actually cause seedling injury and uneven 

emergence. 

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Contributor

Re: Analyzing Harvest Data

Question: Can one learn much from looking at each year or does one have to look at a field on a long-term basis?

 

Answer: Data on a year-by-year basis can provide some value, but it’s when you compile many years of information that you begin to recognize the compounding effects of your data. Having a long history of agronomic data at your disposal can help you better understand the trends and the total potential of your fields, which can lead to improve decision making. Many growers that have been documenting agronomic data for years have also recognized this value. I have been impressed by the volume of growers that are quick to mention how they have transferred their historical agronomic data from John Deere’s Apex™ software to the new John Deere Operations Center. For most growers I spoke with, this transition of data was fueled by the idea that they would never move to a new farm management software without the historical data they have worked so hard to capture. I think this is a great example of how growers realize the value of the data both today and in the years to come.

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Contributor

Re: Analyzing Harvest Data

Question: Most farmers don't know how to do a replicated study and they don't have time to mess with it, anyway. By the time a farmer gets some data over several years, the seed company drops that number. Does a farmer have to learn to be a seed corn geneticist to keep up with how to apply harvest data to next year's seed selection?

 

Answers: Growers shouldn’t be burdened with understanding all of the ins and outs of seed genetics unless that is something they have a passion for. If a grower is looking to make better seed selection decisions, they have a multitude of tools at their disposal to help make that decision. As an example, consider a split variety trial and variable rate planting to get more insight about what genetics and populations work best in your fields across a wide range of conditions. Once you have captured the information, you can easily share it with your seed sales professionals so that they can help you evaluate what varieties work best in certain conditions. If a particular variety is discontinued, your seed sales professional may be in a position to map the genetics of the discontinued variety of choice to a new variety with similar traits. Having a breadth of information available for your partners to leverage will be key in making the right decision, so make sure that you are capturing not only you harvest information, but your seeding, nutrient application and machine data.

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Contributor

Re: Analyzing Harvest Data

Question: What is the payoff model for analyzing harvest data, anyway?

 

Answer:Understanding the return on investment for harvest information is going to vary dramatically from operation to operation. Your willingness to dig into the data, find the insights and adjust your farming practices accordingly will play a large role in dictating your personal return on investment. To truly understand all of the potential influencers of yield, and improve your return, you should also consider documenting all of the operations that take place on your farm, not just harvest and not just agronomic data. A comprehensive set of machine and agronomic data will position you to develop better conclusions, enhancing your ability to make better decisions and generate a greater profit. As software continues to become easier to use and data becomes more prevalent, your opportunity to make better business decisions through data will continue to grow as well. Don’t wait until tomorrow; if you aren’t already, start collecting information today and use it to improve your operation.

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Contributor

Re: Analyzing Harvest Data

Question: One pays for expensive monitors, takes time to calibrate, downloads data into a software program and manipulates it and what does one come up with that can tell us what to do differently next year?

 

Answer: Your harvest information is the scorecard that measures the effectiveness of decisions made throughout that growing season. When you couple your harvest data with your seeding and nutrient application data, you can begin to understand how different variables like seed population, operating speed, downforce, nutrient rates and variety selection impacted your productivity. Understanding which factors are driving yield allows growers, either independently or with their partners, to improve their decision making in the coming crop season. This can lead to better input placement, improved input selection and optimized execution of the job in the field.

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