Are you applying the right rates?

Posted by Sarah Windhorst on 4/9/19 3:55 PM
Sarah Windhorst

In 2005, Premier Crop trademarked a unique idea that has become a common practice with our customers. A trademark called Learning Blocks™. If you’ve conceded to the idea that your fields aren’t the same from fence line to fence line and you’re already managing your fields in zones, you’re ahead of the pack. But, are you checking your work? How do you confirm you are choosing the right rates for the zones in your variable rate planting or nutrient prescription?  Do you just trust that the prescription is right?

The concept of Learning Blocks was a way to test if the correct rates were chosen each zone, in a low-risk way. By placing small check blocks into an area that historically yields in a consistent manner, you can reliably check higher and lower rates against the rate you think is right.

premiercrop_learningblock_rightrates

For example, in a 30 acre area that has been your top yielding zone most years, you may choose to push corn populations to 37,000 seeds.  But, with nothing to compare against, how can you know that was right?  We’d recommend a high check at 40,000 seeds and a low check at 34,000 seeds within that same zone, only on 1-3 acres each.  Using the yield data and a few pieces of cost information, you can quickly understand the return on investment for those seeding decisions and the resulting yield impact they each had.

Now next year, you’ll have refined that planting population just a little more—and can do it again to keep checking your work.  At Premier Crop, we’re all about continually improving profitability, trusting the data to be our guide.

Learn more about Premier Crop's trials here.

Topics: Farm technology, Precision ag, management zones, trials, learning blocks

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Premier Crop Systems is a leading precision ag, data processing and analysis company in Des Moines, Iowa. Premier Crop Systems started in 1999 to deliver better agronomic decisions through data analysis that lead to higher yields, increased profits and more sustainable practices for customers. 

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