With low commodity Prices and high input costs, accurate soil data is more important than ever. Not only can it help you maximize yields, but also it can lower operating costs by optimizing nutrient applications. To help you better track soil samples throughout your fields, Clemson University agricultural engineer Kendall Kirk has developed software that pairs a global positioning system (GPS) with a laptop computer to pinpoint exactly where soil samples are taken as they are collected. This will ensure that you collect adequate samples within a management zone that has common soil characteristics and will likely require similar nutrients.
Variable-rate irrigation (VRI) has become one of the latest solutions for conserving water and for meeting new restrictions. Nathan Weathers, who operates Weathers Family Farms near Yuma, Colorado, with his dad, Byron, has other theories on its use.
“I can’t say we save water,” Weathers says. “However, like variable-rate fertilizer and variable-rate seeding, it allows us to put the resource where it will do the most good.”