Better Yield Data Needed in Specialty Crops
The purpose of new ag technology is supposed to be to make farmers more profitable, productive, and sustainable. But to determine whether or not they are working, we need accurate yield data as a scorecard. But in-field yield data in most specialty crops is hard to come by, says consultant Allan Fetters.
Fetters… “When you look at the broad acreage markets, they have yield maps. You know, they're gathering yield data every time that combine goes through that field. So they're able to get very granular data to understand that variability that helps drive that technology. Unfortunately, we presently do not have that across most of these specialty crops.”
Fetters says this metric is vital for optimizing yield and minimizing inputs.
Fetters… “If it's a 40-acre block, and I'm looking at a almonds and I'm looking at a yield of 3,000 pounds per acre. I'm not getting 3,000 pounds across every acre. I might be getting 2,500 in some areas and I might be getting 3,200 and other areas. So am I feeding it for 3,000 or am I feeding it for 2,500 or am I feeding for 3,200? Both as I'm looking at nutrition and I'm looking at water.”
Fetters says this becomes even more important in times of water scarcity.