The Power of Precision Ag
For over 20 years, we’ve been empowering growers to get the most out of their fields through data driven decisions. Premier Crop makes it easy for you to find solutions that will impact profitable yield. We analyze all parts of your field, with your data, to make sure you implement the very best prescription possible. But we don’t stop there. We also work to maximize your profits by generating new knowledge from your fields that help you better understand agronomic and economic relationships. And the best part is, all you have to do is farm. We take care of the rest.
Getting started with precision ag
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. Our goals is to take that lift off of grower's shoulders. Are you overwhelmed by the complexity of putting your data to use? We can help you get started using your farm data. It's simpler than you think.
Once you've started putting some of your data to use, you'll see that it doesn’t make sense to manage inputs at a flat rate across a field when trying to improve efficiency or lower your breakeven $/bu. For example, uniformly lowering your nitrogen rate across an entire field will reduce your input expense, but will limit your yield potential in ‘high productivity’ areas of the field due to the reduced rate. Conversely, excess nitrogen applied uniformly across the entire field will be wasted on areas with lower yield potential to begin with, dragging down efficiency.
People are always looking to improve everyday tasks to make their lives more efficient, it’s important to have that same mindset for farming. Remember that production (yield) is a key component of the efficiency equation, but knowing what it takes to achieve a specific level of production takes you to the next level of understanding profitability.
What is yield efficiency?
As a farmer you are tasked with making over 40 important business decisions each year, which is no small task. These decisions can relate to anything from finance, product knowledge, agronomic knowledge, marketing, machinery repair/service, buying and negotiating skills, and computer skills. It's no wonder that as a farmer you have been known for being the “Jack of all trades,” however, how big of risk can you afford to take when it relates to making all of these decisions confidently and efficiently? As you near harvest each year, there is a nervous excitement. You are about to get your final grade. Did your decisions for the year pay off? How do you measure such a thing? We know it’s not about the highest yield, it’s really about profitability. We can show you how profitable you were with our Yield Efficiency Score metric.
A Yield Efficiency Score, similar to a credit FICO score, is a single number derived from multiple factors. The purpose of the Yield Efficiency Score is to take all your collected data within each field and use it to determine your per acre return to land and management. At a minimum, we need yield files, field information (pesticide programs, planting rates, varieties, fertility programs, and input costs) that can be entered or gained from as-applied files from the planter or applicator, and your input costs. Once a Yield Efficiency Score is calculated you can visually see a benchmarking gauge that allows you to see beyond your own operation.
“Yield efficiency is about tying agronomics and economics together. It’s perfect timing for the market because things are so tight at the farm gate.” - Dan Frieberg
As you track your data, year after year we can see if your decisions lead to higher efficiency in farming how they affect your bottom dollar. There are a lot of data points that need to be collected, verified, and entered to get a full-scope picture of your operation for analytics purposes. To collect data efficiently, it’s important to first have a good plan, keep notes as you go, collect in a timely manner, and verify that data matches what happened. We strive for continuous improvement through shared learning and increased knowledge working alongside you.
use ag technology to become more efficient
Do you remember the 90s, and the incessant pop ups that also came with 90s internet. Sometimes, that’s how precision ag feels these days. There are a lot of pop ups that are flashy and use all the right buzz words wanting you to ‘pick me, pick me, pick me.’ However, there are several things about precision ag that these companies often leave out of their messaging that can be surprising. 5 of those things that can often surprise people are:
- There are no magic algorithms
- Achieving higher yields isn’t the best way to measure success
- You don’t need to be a data scientist or technology expert to use your data and equipment to its full ability
- Hiring an advisor you trust will help you become a more efficient and profitable farmer
- You've never learned it all
GO BEYOND YIELD
Here are 4 profitable farm ideas you can use in order to see the full scope of your operation:
- Soil fertility information: Are you including soil fertility information in your analytics and decision making? Input prices are on the rise, and by using your data, you can make a more confident financial decision in placing fertilizer.
- Applied information:
- Seed: Did you variable rate your seed? What hybrid was placed where, and at what rate(s)?
- Fertilizer: Did you variable rate your fertilizer? Did you put different rates on different fields? Did some get manure and others commercial fertilizer? Each application has an economic impact.
- Crop Protection: Were they flat-rated? Did certain fields get different products? Did you try foliars or test new products to see how they perform on YOUR fields? What was their economic impact? All products perform somewhere, did they perform on yours? Did they perform in some areas more so than others? Did they have a financial advantage, and if so, how much?
- Invoices: All of those invoices should be tied not only to a field, but where they occurred within a field. If you variable rate your seeds, then your seed expense was variable throughout the field. Same for any other application that you made that was not put on at the same rate throughout the field.
- Yield data: Even if you do not have a yield monitor, do all of your fields yield the same? If you do have a yield monitor, and your yield map is not all one color (meaning the values differ from that magic ‘Average Yield’ for the entire field), that means that profitability is not equal across the field.
the importance of yield efficiency, group data, and benchmarking
As a farmer, you have so many decisions to make. It ranges from what inputs to use, when, at what rates, to what crops are the most profitable on different fields, to the logistics of how you'll plant, spray, harvest, till (or not) your fields. Not to mention the management of grain handling and storage and any employees you utilize. You're looking to build the most profitable business you can that is sustainable year over year.
There are the sayings, "you can't save your way into prosperity" and, "you have to spend money to make money." BUT, you have to know WHERE to save and WHERE to spend. This is where Premier Crop comes in. Economics and agronomics have been divorced from one another in the decision making process for too long. When input prices are high, growers look at what they can cut out. When grain prices soar, it's easier to dump on inputs and seek out that "high yield recipe." What we are finding by using yield efficiency as a metric beyond yield is that we can help growers in both those scenarios to find the right combination of sound agronomics that are still economically viable. Click here to learn more about the importance of yield efficiency, and benchmarking.