Get Started Using Your Farm Data

Posted by Katie Decker on 5/20/21 9:15 AM
Katie Decker

At Premier Crop, we say that agronomy is local. Farmers say it too, though, because we have such a vast amount of data within our system.

Working with Premier Crop doesn’t require a grower to be an expert on any one thing, because we're using the data, along with our industry agronomy experience to deliver analytics and insights. We work with many business minded growers, people who really enjoy using data, but might not necessarily have the time to do it. The operations we work with are the CEOs of their farmings operations. Our advisors work with these growers to collect, manage, organize, and make sense of the data, letting the farmer farm as they want to, without any time invested. 

We take care of everything, from variable-rate recommendations, cost tracking, to delivering the analysis in a way that a grower can easily understand. We all know that looking at data can be pretty overwhelming and hard to make sense of. 

The baseline of everything we do is tied back to a yield file or yield map. So, one or two years of historical yield data is essentially the only thing we need to get started. There are roughly 80% of growers out there who are capable of collecting yield data, or maybe they already are collecting yield data, they just don't know how to use it. Growers just need to have to have some yield data to get started. Another layer that’s helpful in providing more insights is soil data. However, the baseline to get started is yield data alone.

Precision ag can be overwhelming because there are so many different layers of data, from soil sample data, yield data, planting data, and as-applied data. The brainpower needed to add all of that up yourself can be exhausting.

Our ultimate goal is to help take that lift off of growers’ shoulders. The last thing many growers want to do after a long day is sit down at their computer and manage all of their data. That's just another piece of the pie of the value that Premier Crop ultimately brings. Especially during busy seasons of the year, there are much more important tasks for them to focus on instead of messing around with data. That’s why our advisors help with the monitor and technical tasks. When it's “go time,” it is a race against the clock, no matter what is going on.

grower in combine

Yield Efficiency is another tool that Premier Crop offers to help growers achieve success with their data. 

By helping growers find their yield efficiency, we're redefining the success metric for today’s farmer. For so long, growers have been solely focused on yield. Now, we have introduced the concept of yield efficiency and the conversation is shifting. 

yield efficiency score

Yield efficiency is the amount of money in return from your crop that you have left over to pay land and management costs. Yield is the number-one driver of yield efficiency, but it also accounts for every other aspect of the farming operation as well. As long as we can drive higher yields while still lowering your break-even cost per bushel, we're becoming more profitable. Profitability equals success with our growers. As long as we’re lowering that break-even cost per bushel and driving higher yields, we deem it as a successful season, whether it's $10 an acre or $100 an acre farm profitability. We know there are dollars left on the table on every acre, so it's just a matter of finding it with your farm data.

yield efficiency

One big way to start improving your yield efficiency is by better managing your fertilizer investment. Make sure that you’re taking into account the crop removals when you’re making fertilizer recommendations. 

Every year when you grow a crop on a piece of land, nutrients are taken off in the grain. As stated above, our main goal is to manage variability in yield. Within that variability in yield, you’re taking off different amounts of nutrients in different parts of the field. If you’re applying fertilizer the next season to account for the field average and crop removal, you’re ultimately under-applying in a lot of the field, but over-applying on a lot of the field, also. 

That's why at Premier Crop, we use the actual yield file to see exactly what we've taken off the field to replace it the next season. We use an equation so we're not mining down the better areas of the field, and then over-applying in the worst areas of the fields. This practice could result in an extra $50 to $100 an acre for the grower. Many growers can do this with the variable-rate technology they have, they just need to put it to use and believe the fact that it pays off. Visit www.premiercrop.com for more information on farm efficiency.

farm efficiency

Topics: data analytics, Precision ag, data driven decisions, yield efficiency, farm analytics, nutrient removals

About

Premier Crop Systems, based out of Des Moines, IA, 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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