Dry land farming could become more precise thanks to a study done by the USDA. Researchers are looking at how elevation changes within a crop field can impact both yields as well as nutrient application amounts. Researcher, Merle Vigil, said when it comes to crops like wheat and corn grown in low-lying areas that have captured run-off and organic matter that hold water better.
“We found that within a given field you might have yield differences 60/80 bushels,” Vigil said. “So the high portions of the field, the yield the yield might be 15 to 17 bushels and in the low spots the yield be 90-100 bushels. When we first saw that we thought that’s interesting for this field, but then it turns out that it was true for almost all fields that we were looking at.]
And that has led to development of field management zones utilizing precision AG techniques and equipment.
“The idea is you won’t be wasting money on nutrients where you’re not going to get the yield because you don’t have the water and on the other hand you’re putting the right amount of nitrogen where you really do have yield potential.”
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