As we calculate profitability to determine what balance of crops we will grow in 2018 on our own farm, we discuss the “Wins” and “Losses” of our tests and observations over the last couple of years. What did we learn and did it provide a return?
So how do we make good decisions based upon our experiences? We measure. We gather our data and we take a look at it. Now, that doesn’t mean everyone has to be an expert in everything. Most of us have some trusted partners that we lean on. But, the first step is to gather good data. We can’t analyze what we don’t measure or don’t measure accurately.
One of our supposed “Wins” was a late season N application. We knew exactly where it was, because we had mapped the application. At a glance, it did look like a “Win”. However, after looking a little deeper and running the numbers, it wasn’t. A properly calibrated yield monitor with gps reveals the hidden truths.
Could we have gotten the same result with a weigh buggy and some stakes? Maybe. But, the time saved and the certainty of the results out weigh the cost of the equipment. Don’t forget, that same data tells you a whole lot more about your farm and your choices; such as, tillage practices, planting date, seed choices, drainage, and N applications to name a few. Without the data, there are no truths to reveal.
Whether you need help with the systems you currently have or are making your initial precision ag investment, we at Kelley Engineering are ready to be your precision ag partner. Give us a call today and be ready to measure in 2018.