Insights into ag business from our Marketing and Business Solutions Agronomist, Matt Owens

If you can cut your workload down and use your time more efficiently, all while growing the best crop possible you could be looking forward to more time spent with your family and friends or even enjoying an earlier retirement.

Crop scouting may be part of the answer.

In the past, we have been guilty of crop scouting a field at 60 mph, or taking a quick glance as you are driving by—making broad decisions such as, “there are no problems in this field,” or “it looks like it’s time to spray.”

Looking at your crop from the road can make you happy, your landlords happy, and other farmers jealous. All those things may be great, but does it make you money? Most of your value comes from beyond what you can see from the road. Money is made in the heart of a field and the key is to find ways to protect what you have.

Each stage of crop growth has its own problems—and potentials. Early season scouting is important with respect to disease, insect pressure, and weed concerns. Quite a bit of yield can be lost from nutrient and moisture deficiencies just by giving a weed an extra couple of days to grow. Along with that loss, we could be letting weeds get too much growth making them harder to kill.

Technology has helped many of us streamline this process. Having the ability to take pictures of issues and get them to the grower is very beneficial. Information can be sent from the edge of the field directly to a grower’s smart phone in the form of a scouting report. The grower can then promptly take action to address any issues or circumstances that have arisen.

Over the past number of years we have developed and successfully implemented an agronomy and crop scouting program to help farmers grow better crops and be more profitable doing it.

Many of our customers employ intensive crop production thanks to our first-hand, local and global knowledge. Our expertise pertains to the development, design, and implementation of professional and strategic nutrient plans as well as crop protection with a focus on soil chemistry, plant physiology, crop nutrition and environmental sustainability. We strive to have an agronomy program that is leading edge for our customers. There are many tried and true agronomic practices, but often times thinking outside the box and field testing in our own environment creates all the difference in the world.

These are the offerings and services in our agronomy platform and crop checking packages:

  • Soil sample, nutrition analysis, and fertility planning
  • Pre-seed inspection
  • Seedling inspection
  • Weed inspection
  • Efficacy inspection and tissue sampling
  • Three disease and or insect inspections
  • Pre-harvest inspection
  • Harvest samples/yield data to calculate crop removal

We offer many diverse packages that are custom-made to your farm ranging from the complete full service advantage, consisting of eight field walks throughout the season, soil sampling and nutrition analysis from the soil and plant tissue testing, and seed analysis at the end of the growing season, to a crop scouting service based on a required field or problematic basis. These platforms are flexible and we have the ability to customize or tailor a package of any specific requirement.

We are committed to testing practices and technology locally, which has meant the most and has had the greatest impact for our customers operations. Having this support during times and circumstances of hardship and uncertainty can help you manage your stress, which in turn leads to better decisions and better outcomes.

Before heading out to plant your crop in 2015 please contact us this fall to see how we can establish a strategy to help you maximize the profitability on your farm.