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4 ways in-field sensors can increase profits

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Agronomist and Freelance Author

01 Mar 2017

Can the latest technology increase profit? The latest cellular weather stations provides real-time soil information and weather information directly to your phone; but how can you use this information to make more money? This article summarizes findings from University of California research and Colorado State University research. Learn more about how you can apply these techniques yourself.

 

Water Usage

(increase efficiency by 50% or more)

Real-time data from cellular stations like Connected Crops Advanced Irrigation Solution can decrease relative use during dry years by precisely timing your amount and duration of irrigating on a field-by-field basis, adjusting according to each soil type, crop residue, canopy, and uptake-removal by stage of the crop. In normal years, you can vary your schedule so as to water the soil types on your farm that are more porous and leach more readily; and reduce or eliminate watering on soils that are holding water better due to texture, organic matter, and other factors.

Efficient Fertilizer and Nutrient Utilization

(simultaneously decrease fertilizer expenses and increase yields)

Nitrogen availability is crucial to many of the crops that you irrigate. When you over irrigate, significant losses can occur through leaching and denitrification, forcing you to apply more fertilizer amendment in order to meet the crop’s needs.

Increased Crop Quality and Reduced Diseases

(increase harvest quality and timeliness of harvest to maximize gross receipts and profit)

When irrigation is more precise, the crop will develop more consistently across the field, and between fields, resulting in consistent development, flowering, pollination, fruit set, and ripening. This amounts to lower cull rates, more consistent quality, and better timing of harvest.

Certain diseases like blossom end rot and related blights will thrive in an environment that combines rapid heat unit accumulation and high humidity caused by excessive rainfall and/or irrigation rates. By being more precise with the timing of your water, you will reduce the potential for this, and related diseases to flourish in your crops that are susceptible to them.

Prescription Management of Your Fields

(know every field's moisture status in real-time)

Every farm has soil textures and conditions that vary from excessively well drained sands and gravels to heavy clay. As a result, each field requires a different management system to achieve top yields and quality. Knowing the moisture status, from Connected Weather Stations, of your fields at varying depths greatly enhances the information in your ‘tool belt’ so as to respond or plan your management strategies according to that soil and the crop occupying it. Just as with any other variable, well timed water in amounts that are optimum for the crop and its stage of application increases profitability.

As we continue to improve our software applications for our Sensors, we are working together with researchers, farmers, and industry representatives to fine tune how you can best utilize your ConnectedCropsTM wireless sensors and the ConnectedCropsTM mobile app and attain its greatest return for your Crop business.

We look forward to sharing some of the response data found by specifically using this technology on farms, always seeking to increase the profitability and sustainability of our farmer’s businesses.