The digital transformation in agriculture is bringing new frontiers of possibilities and efficiency. In our first year of service, we collected thousands of acres in over hundreds of fields.
Our agronomists went to work early in the season as they reviewed every single image for high impact financial threats, which is a core part of our service. To attempt to find relevant environmental variability, our team relies on more than just imagery as we load SSURGO soil type maps, customer provided as-planted and as-sprayed maps, elevation maps and other indications to ensure that we can suggest areas that matter for in-season action.
We found 12% of all acres were impacted by a range of fertility, disease or equipment issues.
As a diagnostic tool, we need to work hand in hand with our customer to help mitigate high impact issues. We had some hits and misses as customers scouted the fields with our directed scouting recommendations. We interviewed many Ag retailers and consultants to learn how our findings translated into in-season action and how else they plan to use our results. What we learn amazed both our customers and us, with some big hits.
First, farmers and agronomists largely rely on soil maps and yield to make crop management decisions. For in-season management, current options like satellite imagery cannot be used to ground truth fields. Other options like manned aerial imagery and some UAV without agronomy review largely ends up in a computer folder waiting for yield data for crop management analysis and programming for next season.
Efficient crop management, especially using precision practices, requires going beyond yield, soil grid tests, as-planted and as spray maps. It’s difficult to rely on just these indicators to discriminate in-season treatments and seed selection yield variability, that leads to optimal yield.
All of our customers highlighted that high resolution imagery tells the “why” story which can help improve their traditional crop programming practices while bringing immediate in-season value primarily to support side-dress nitrogen recommendation, fungicide and post-emergence herbicide/insecticide treatments when it matters the most.
We realized over $1.3M in yield value created to our customers or about 5x return on the cost of the service.
We are thrilled that our customers realized over $1.3M in value from our service in 2016 by addressing direct in-season yield limiting issues and indirect post-season programming improvements from our service. By spending $4.50 per acre in our service, growers realized a $23.58/acre for corn and $20.06/acre for soybeans in yield value for the season. This represents about a 5x return on grower investment. It was a healthy crop season for most growers and fields were not significantly affected by mold or aphids this season where the gains could have been greater. This is a big return for early adopter customers of our service and we can’t wait to put more money in their pockets next season and beyond!
Lets connect! Send questions at email@example.com or call (507) 893-4545.