During 2015, BigYield.usTM focused on integrating its data collection and data management tools and simultaneously created a systems approach for its research and data program. Two hallmarks of the BigYield.usTM research and data program are drone imagery and precision farming tools.
Drone technology enables the BigYield.usTM team to capture good geo-referenced pictures and maps that highlight plant health and condition. Maps developed post-harvest can illustrate crop performance data. Based on the images generated by a drone, BigYield.usTM can evaluate crop production plans that it tests through its research program. At the farm level, drone imagery may help producers better target field areas that have the greatest need for input applications.
The precision farming component uses sensors and video technology, and it provides capabilities including mapping, yield monitoring and data recording. During harvest, the BigYield.usTM team has used two key precision farming tools to collect data. The research and data team has used the HM-800 software from Harvest Manager for its Massey Ferguson 8 two-row combine, and it has installed the Ag Leader Integra tool on its John Deere combine. With these tools, BigYield.usTM can collect harvest data by the row, and specifically, the team can track the effect that certain production factors, including varieties, weather, soil types and input applications, have on influencing yields on a row-by-row basis. To merge and process the Harvest Manager and Ag Leader Integra data, the BigYield.usTM team uses advanced GIS (geographic information science) software. Specifically, the Ag Leader SMS Advanced software performs this function.
By combining the aerial images and precision farming tools, BigYield.usTM can assess data on a micro scale. The following image shows small-plot variety yields computed based on the drone imagery and Harvest Manager data. BigYield.usTM customers benefit from these newly adopted technologies because the BigYieldTM team can share its research insights and help customers make well-informed crop production decisions, such as variety selection and input application rates, based on research-proven practices. Ultimately, the team has a goal to identify and share best practices that producers can adopt to increase yields on their farms.
To learn more about data collection and management tools that BigYield.usTM has used, contact a BigYield.usTM representative today. Stay tuned to bigyield.us to learn more about data that the BigYieldTM research and data team collected during this crop year.