profit with premier crop
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.
Develop a Nitrogen management plan
We begin by developing our nitrogen strategy. We plan how we're going to go about applying our nitrogen, or what our season-long plan is for nitrogen management. The simple answer is: there is no one-size-fits-all solution, especially when it comes to nitrogen management. It needs to fit into your rotation, logistics, and available labor. You also need to decide how you're going to manage different practices and other tools that you have at your disposal, whether that's equipment limitations, irritation or rainfall limitations, yield potential. All these dynamics play together. Topography and soil types are also very important. Many nitrogen plans have fallen under that cultural practice of what a specific area has been accustomed to doing. Some examples of that might be 100% of total expected nitrogen needs applied in the fall with anhydrous ammonia or spring-applied anhydrous ammonia. Over the last 20 years, we have seen more of a move towards split application of nitrogen. There's a fair amount of research that is pretty widely accepted in the industry now that split application of nitrogen is much more common than it ever used to be.
A split application helps us be more efficient, but if we're measuring the results off of our farm, we can actually see what those real efficiency values are. With Premier Crop, we talk about zone management quite a bit. One of our favorite methods for arriving at Management Zones is principally looking at historic yield data. For the most part, the best area of the field has always been the best area of the field. The poorest area of the field has always been the poorest area of the field. Using other pieces of spatial data to maybe augment that, whether that's grid sample data, EC, EM data, soil survey maps, where applicable. We can use that to help augment and guide zones.
So, now we think of our traditional Premier Crop ABC management zone approach. We start seeing efficiencies. You start breaking that out year over year, especially in those corn years. If I see consistent efficiency of, say, 0.75-0.8 pounds of synthetic nitrogen per bushel produced in my A zone, maybe 0.9 or 1.0 in my B zone and maybe anywhere from 1 to 1.2 pounds of nitrogen in my C zone, I see that consistency. We can confirm our zones. A, we know our zones are behaving how we believe they ought to be behaving. B, we've dialed in management, probably with a variable-rate seeding approach, as well. And C, now we can start incorporating these nitrogen efficiencies that we're observing within the field. At the end of the day, it's spatial management. As things change in the field, we're adapting our management to it and, then, marrying economics and efficiency back to it. It also ties right into sustainability. We're being much smarter with how we're applying fertilizers on our fields. Listen to our full podcast episode here:
Can "unhealthy" soils produce consistent, exceptional yields?
One of our main goals at Premier Crop is managing variability within fields and between fields to maximize a grower’s return on investment. We use yield files from calibrated yield monitors to measure our success both agronomically and economically. One of our tools empowers the user to build a multiple year yield map. We find that there are parts of fields that are amazing in their ability to consistently kick out exceptional yields. I understand that there are examples of “throw the kitchen sink” at production and have everything work perfect in a given year.
These are areas of fields that yield exceptionally well on a consistent basis. Are those areas of the field “healthier” than other areas? Is it possible for them to be unhealthy and be so consistently high yielding?
What do these high yield areas have in common?
- Drainage is right – either blessed with naturally well drained or a combination of cultural practice and field tile.
- They frequently have deeper A horizons (depth of top soil before clay or sub soil) and usually a higher % organic matter.
- Usually pH is right – not too high but also not low. That makes sense to me, correct soil pH makes other nutrients, like phosphorous, more available and is needed for the bacteria that increase mineralization to be active.
We believe that nutrient cycling is better in these areas – that is soil supplied and fertilizer/manure supplied nutrients cycle to plant usable forms better than in other parts of the field. There is a strong relationship in parts of fields between consistently high yields and soil health. We believe you can have healthy soils that aren’t exceptionally high yielding (can be limited by other management choices). But, we don’t believe you can get consistently high yields on unhealthy soils. If you’re trying to understand differences in soil health within your fields, start with a multi-year map. Read more here.
Carbon sequestration is the removal, capture or sequestration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. With so much buzz about carbon credits in agriculture right now, we brought expert Dr. Jerry Hatfield onto the Premier Podcast to help our listeners understand carbon sequestration, and if it is beneficial to the agronomics and economics of the farming operation to implement carbon sequestration practices. Listen to the full podcast episode here: