iFARM – Taking Precision Agronomy to the Next Level

Figure 1-1

 

We are past the point that we wonder if fungicides work or not, we know they do. Customers ask us all the time “So, what is next? What can I do now to increase my yields even more?” We have a solution. We need to be more precise in what we do. This means having more accurate seeding equipment, be more efficient with fertilizer use, precise timing on foliar applications and making sure we swath or combine at precisely the right time. We need to take “Precision Agronomy to the next level!”

With the current Agronomy Program that Cavalier Agrow has we are specific with our recommendations on everything above ground, but we realize that we need to do a better job with the fertilizer we put in the soil. In other words we need to be more precise.

With this, Cavalier Agrow is proud to announce iFARM (Intelligent Fertility Analysis Rate Management program). This program is designed to address the 4Rs in fertility – the right source, right place, right time and the right rate. State of the art equipment is used to do the soil sampling, with spots in the field being marked with a FM1000 monitor (RTX GPS capable) that is accurate to 1.5”.

We go to 30 different spots in a 160 ac field and do at least 5 probes at each spot (Figure 1) and these 30 soil samples gets analyzed individually by A&L Labs (the most innovative soil lab in Canada). The data then is analyzed with a process called “Kriging” where a map of each nutrient in the soil is created (Figure 2 and 3). We then combine all of these maps and create a custom prescription map specific for that field. This Prescription map is written specific for the monitor on your variable rate seeding equipment. With this kind of analysis you end up with over 1600 potential zones on your field, unlike other more conventional variable rate programs which only offer six.

With this technology, floating in the fall gets a whole new meaning. It is possible now to use this prescription map in a floater to variable rate any nutrient in the fall. This leaves more room in your air cart  and helps reduce number of times filling when seeding. You also now have the option to variable rate your Phosphate and or Potassium.Figure 2

Other conventional variable rate programs use satellite imagery which measure how green the field is, which should correlate to yield, but this method may not always be accurate. Satellite imagery cannot distinguish between wild oats and crop, giving variable results. Even if 10 years’ worth of images have been used, accuracy is not achieved. It is possible to generate zones but imagery will not tell you why that zone is producing the way it is. iFARM is based on soil tests so there is no guessing. You know exactly why zones are created. Some variable rate programs utilize Veris or the EM38 machines which give you one layer of information. With iFARM you get over 32 layers of information. Now that is precise!

iFARM is the only field management program that relies exclusively on soil analysis and focuses on nutrient use efficiency while maximizing return on investment.Figure 3