Getting Started with Precision Ag
Precision agriculture has been touted for years as a way to achieve more productivity using only the inputs that will lead to higher yields. But overall adoption of precision tools remains low. Some farmers may be wondering where to start. That’s the question I asked agronomist and precision ag consultant Jonathan Zettler.
Zettler… “Probably the first step is to collect data, to see if there's even enough variability to justify doing it, which in most cases there probably is. But without that layer, you can't even do anything. And then the next piece is invest in planting equipment so that you can do variable rate planting. And there's lots of aftermarket options, you don't need to buy the $150,000 or $200,000 24-row, individual row planter in order to do that. So you have that capability and maybe you're relying on your retailer to VR apply the fertilizer from that standpoint. Or if you want to do an on/off script with fungicide or whatever it is.”
Zettler says not to let all of the various tools and approaches intimidate you. Just get started where you are.
Zettler… “A lot of people that are working with the tools that have, let's say 10 or 15 or 20 years of experience with it, just started. Right. And you just keep failing forward more or less with it is probably the best way of describing it. Because not every single time you go and do this is at home run.”
Zettler owns FieldWalker Agronomy based in Ontario.