What exactly does the service offer? Do I get application plans and strategy?
The main service provides the basis of the application maps. The grower receives a professional recommendation showing which parts of the field performs at the level of field average (100%) and quantities for the farm technology target. Which parts they should deviate in a positive or negative direction based on the Field potential.
Differences are defined in 5 categories as a percentage from the average. We create the optimal number of zones - as few as possible - which can be easily managed with machines and software.
Growers receive a shape file, which is a commonly accepted format for precision farming.
Based on this file they will be able to create application plans in SMS Ag Leader, FarmWorks, Climate, Xarvio, OneSoil… in any system used by the farm.
If the grower does not prepare the application plans by himself, we can provide N and density application maps as additional service. The creation of the map is preceded by a preliminary consultation, where we assess the planned:
• Crop and Yield target
• Nitrogen dose designed for technology
• Planned density; variety-specific density reaction if available (for corn, sunflower)
We can offer an analysis for P, K, Ca, SO3 if there is a GPS -recorded soil sampling result with at least 3-5 samples per zone.
There is no need to review the zone maps each year, the strategy can be used for 3-5 years. It greatly improves the production technology because it does not overload those parts of the field where it is not needed and optimises the application of the input material. It maximises the yield based on the potential of the zones. This will result higher efficiency and lower soil load.
I recently bought precision machines but I haven't used them yet and I am just learning precision technologies. Can this system help me?
The service supports the variable application of planters and fertilizer spreaders. If you have purchased such machine, all you have to do is provide GPS antenna control for the tractor and ISOBUS compatibility for the control.
You will need only field boundaries to request our service. After the Zone maps were provided you can decide to create your own maps or ask our help in that too.
What is a field boundary and how can I create it?
The field boundary is a continuous line around the field that forms a shape.
It is necessary to provide this shape file for EU subsidy applications and annual administration. In most cases, they are the same as the shape boundaries in the country’s field registration system. It shall be available in shape file or kml format for growers.
If you have none of those files at your service, the shapes can be drawn in any free systems. We recommend the Google Earth web application.
Guide to create Boundary files in Google Earth:
1. After logging in, a new project must be created (name should be the name of the farm).
2. Click the Add Line or Shape button in the project to start drawing the field boundary. (it is recommended to use as few points as possible)
3. Enter the name of the field with the edit button
4. Repeat points 2 and 3 until all Fields are recorded.
5. Click "…" to select the export, export to kml file.
The exported kml file will be used to execute your order.
How do I know on which field I should use the service?
There is a rational lower limit for differentiating a field, which we propose to set at 10 ha in this service.
The service highlights the heterogenity of the fields, so where is no significant yield difference based on the production experience, probably the service documentation will not show significant differences either.
According to practical experience, the analysis of non-flat areas and fields with variable soil structure is the most recommended. These can be seen from a satellite image where the ground color is clearly vary.
I have been using precision machines and softwares for years. Can the system bring additional value for my farm?
Yes, if the creation of the zones was created based on a yield map or a 1-2 year satellite map of the past. In our case, the partner will receive zone maps based on an analysis covering the last 10 years. We can also help to prepare application plans as further service.
Our service can also add value if the farm have created application maps for themself and was not ordered from a precision service provider which analysed multiple years.
Nowadays, farms can immediately create an application map in minutes with free apps using internet, but these apps work based on a single-day image of the year and we have doubts that a precision application plan can be built on a single-day condition.
Paid systems offer options where images can be combined over several years. In our experience these averages are extremely misleading and do not provide older satellite maps than 5 years.
We believe that the 10-year analysis of our system provides extra value as it considers crop rotation and minimise seasonality impacts.
How will I be able to convert the maps to use those with my machines?
The shape files are common format for precision farming and compatible with most types of machines and softwares. Shape files can be saved in several variety of formats so we can make it suitable for any machines to apply it to your machinery or preferred software.
How can I create an application plan and strategy based on the maps I receive?
You can create an application plan for yourself in any systems by converting the shape files to Variable rate prescriptions in SMS / Ag Leader, Climate, etc... we can also create you Variable Rate Field Maps as an additional service.
Strategy is a more complex question. In our opinion precision agriculture and soil managment builds on 3 pillars:
Pillar 1: N and density optimization by zones
Pillar 2: soil sample from different potential field zones based on the zone maps
Pillar 3: Ca,P, K, ... sampling and analysis of the availability of macronutrients, which defines fertilisation strategy
If there are no soil sample results from each zones, the analysis of macronutrient application can not be completed because we do not see how these nutrients affect the yield, whether they need to be increased or decreased to achieve higher return on investment on nutrient application.
In the absence of proper soil analysis, precision agriculture stops at the level of optimising density and N in different zones with the help of the zone maps.
How does the system balance seasonality effect?
Is the map affected by a single-year error in agrotechnology?
The advantage of the system is that we analyze 10 years. We can exclude the extremes that occur and the misleading data coming from a one year mistake. During the evaluation these “inaccuracies” can be minimized in the analysis.
The system analyze a long-period. Can crop rotation or the use of different crops in one field cause inaccuracy in the analysis?
We designed the algorithm to be able to distinguish between different crops. The system measures the yield potential of different crops differently, so the crops effect can’t mislead the result.
We decided to use a 10-year analysis because of the crop rotations. European crop rotations work with 3-6 crops and the 10 - year analysis ensures that all crops are represented in the analysis.
How 100% as the average is determined for the Field Production Zone Maps?
Our analysis takes the crop performance potential under the same field boundary in each year. If the field has different crops at the same growing season the algorithm will split the field and calculate only for the same crops.
Then we assess the variation of the field potential for those 10 years to define separately the average (100%), high and low field potential areas.
How should I define my Variable Rate maps based on your Field Production Zone Map?
If you were farming on the field in the past years, you should follow the same technology plans as usual. You should create VR maps by adjusting your plan to the 100 % and increase, decrease the applied volume of Nitrogen based on the Field Production Zone Map % rates.
We recommend to define density according to the seed companies advise. Usually yield target is needed. Adjust your yield target by the % of Field Production Zone Maps and check for the density advise.
If you just start farming on the Field, as a starting point we propose to define your Yield target. If there is historical Yield results of the field, we advise to use the crop average of the past 3 years to define the 100% starting point.
Using your crop yield target you can define the Nitrogen nutrient supply for the crop which you should assign to the 100% value of your Field Production Zone Map and increase, decrease the applied volume of Nitrogen based on the Field Production Zone Map % rates.
Density could be calculated the same way as above.
What EU regulations are expected to use zone maps?
The main players in the European Union and in the food chain, have set carbon emission neutrality as a strategic goal in order to slow down the effects of climate change. One of the key players in carbon emission is agriculture. It is our shared responsibility to reduce carbon emission and leave viable agriculture behind for our children!
Currently accepted techniques for reaching this goal are:
- minimising soil rotation to reduce organic matter and carbon loss
- using cover crops to reduce microbial and chemical nitrogen loss
- reduce any extra expenses that do not return incremental yield, such as leaching Nitrogen, or extra seed doses of cereals that involve more transportation and chemical contamination.
Stored carbon in soil, can already be sold by farms, several Farm Management software programs offer the ability to measure the stored carbon in the soil and to sell it. These are 3-5 year programs, that are great checkpoints for the soil improvement strategies that we offer.
Where do you store my data and how it’s protected?
Our company store field boundaries, zone maps, application maps for 365 days, all in a separate cloud account provided by Microsoft for the customer. We will not sell our aggregated data, the provided field information and will not use it for anything else than what we claim in the service.