Climate FieldView has released a new manual crop protection prescription that allows farmers to create variable-rate scripts for any zone in their field.
The new feature works for fungicides, herbicides, insecticides and growth regulators to help growers create special management zones within each field, and assign product rates to each region while following label directions.
Why it matters: Technology like this gives farmers the opportunity to micromanage their fields and help to save money on placing crop protection products only where needed.
Marvin Talsma, product marketing manager with Climate FieldView says they have had requests for a program that can create zones for crop protection products.
“We have prescription created for seeding and fertilizer programs available through the FieldView platform. We’ve had requests from our peers that there are instances where they would like to do something similar for their crop protection products.”
The tool was released near the end of June and is available for any growers with a FieldView Plus subscription.
Growers can use the program to select a field boundary in FieldView and create a manual prescription.
“When I say ‘manual’, that farmer can pull in layers that are in FieldView, choose one of those maps and use that as a basis and start creating zones, assign whether or not it is a fungicide, herbicide, or a growth regulator product and they can then assign different rates to those zones.”
Once the prescription is created, it is downloaded, put onto a USB key and taken to the sprayer. As well, the application can be mapped in Climate FieldView to compare with the prescription.
A feature like this works well on diseases such as white mould in soybeans, a disease that thrives in areas of a field with more biomass. With the program the grower is able to take an NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) image breaking down the biomass into five regions.
“I will take the low areas, the low biomass, and create a zone and decide not to apply a fungicide because I’m not going to need that protection, I’m not going to get a whole lot out of it,” says Talsma.
The fungicide can be focussed on the areas that will be in need and are at higher risk.
Talsma said another frequent request was for pre-harvest applications to assist with crop dry down.
“Areas in the field will dry down more quickly than others. If we use a desiccant in that field, we can identify those areas that are a little slower and maybe put a higher rate of desiccant on and a lower rate across the rest of the field, or vice versa.”
The program works much the same with herbicides, especially once wheat is harvested.
“If we had a spot of wheat that was drowned out, it didn’t grow, it didn’t survive, but we have a patch of thistles or weeds there, those should show up in our imagery. We can create a prescription and apply a herbicide to target those weedy areas.”
Information on where best to make zones for crop protection products can come from numerous resources.
“Yield maps have a huge potential in showing us their productivity in fields. We generally have higher productive areas, our crop is going to grow a little better. But also, if you think about an insect like aphids in soybeans, they are attracted to low potassium soil or low potash availability in the soil. So if we have a soil map and an aphid outbreak, we want to target those areas to ensure we kill the aphids, but not the beneficials,” says Talsma.
“I think we have the opportunity to be creative and think about how we use it to help our farmers manage more site specific and that’ll help them keep a little bit more dollars in their pocket.”