Ag Tech Tools

Dec 18, 2018

Ag Tech Tools

In today’s Ag world, everyone is looking for an edge to better position themselves against their competition.  Growers are looking for tools to make the job of farm management easier and simplify the day to day tasks.  Some of these tools include satellite imagery, predictive models and bench marking tools.  Drones are even making a splash but are limited to what they can truly cover from a workload standpoint.  There are multiple platforms to look at and consider but today we are going to focus on what UFC has as part of the United Insight platform. 


1. Today we have Brittany Ullrich from Winfield United’s Ag Tech team. Give us a little bit about your background and tools you have worked with. 

  • Worked for Land O Lakes for almost 8 years
  • Training in R7
  • Worked for a coop in central North Dakota
  • What used to take me 2-3 hours for a prescription now takes me 2 minutes, things have changed a lot in the last 10 years or so

2. R7 is the platform for in-season tools.  What are the key things to look at with the R7 tool?

  • Starts with getting the right seed on the right acre
  • In-season imagery to model crop throughout growing season
  • Paired it up with NutriSolutions for in season crop report
  • Help make in season decisions
  • Last thing is the yield analysis – we have an ROI report, so we can learn how to adjust for next season
  • Today it is not just a mapping tool

3. How does the satellite imagery differ from what we’re getting on, say, Google Earth?

  • It’s two-fold
    • Can look at in season imagery that’s 20 m for a general overview
    • Second part is the field monitoring tool
      • Daily satellite imagery to model at how it’s growing and then it benchmarks those fields to other fields with the same crop and similar planting dates
      • Can help with directed scouting
      • Gives us the ability to look at in season applications like fungicide
      • Can really look at if we only have a short window, to get that application on when it matters and what fields would benefit the most
    • In season image, 7-10 days sooner if there is a change in that field.  It gives us that week time span to be able to go and scout it and get ahead of when we will actually see a deficiency in that field

4. Another tool in the R7 umbrella is the Field Forecasting tool.  This is a predictive modeling tool to help with Nitrogen, Potassium, and water stress mitigation.  What’s your thoughts and experiences on that?  From my experience I have had growers who have fields along their driveway and it starts to turn yellow.  The first thing that grower thinks is we need more nitrogen. The corn is yellow, we got to apply more nitrogen.  How many times is that field green from fence row to fence row, does the grower ever wonder “did I put too much nitrogen on?” I don’t think there’s a grower out there that’s ever thought that.  Can you share some of your experiences?

  • It’s the one that will have the biggest impact on growers
  • Knowing where your nitrogen is going and not over applying, just in the economic aspect as well
  • Very skeptical across the board if it’s actually accurate
  • To think about it, it’s another tool to help with in season management
  • We adjust the model throughout the growing season based on NutriSolutions tissue samples
    • We put in a yield goal and what is attainable
    • Different layers that go into algorithm
    • We course correct based on NutriSolutions
  • Way to look at when application will make the most sense, the tool will tell you when to apply so that it gives you the best ROI
  • Helps narrow down when and how much
  • How FFT is helping their grain departments
    • In this year we were +/- 10 bushels, which I think it

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