Farming is managing yield opportunities with a production input strategy. It is working with the land to achieve a profitable and sustainable system that effectively utilizes good weather and marketing opportunities, while being prepared to survive through the tough times. The goal of this program is to produce a plan that details management strategies that effectively manage the many variables of crop production in a profitable way, while being cost-effective and managing risk.
- Nutrient Management Plan.
- Management Zone Establishment – Zones are based on soil type, yield history, application method and other factors. These zones are georeferenced and average around 4 acres in size but range from 1 to 5 acres depending on field variability.
- Soil Sample – We will use established zones to pull soil samples (and optionally nematode samples). Sample analysis is saved in a database so that we can track the data historically.
- Nutrient Management Plan – This plan includes all fertilizer and lime maps, printed and electronic for variable rate application, as well as a written plan for starters, layby fertilizers, and foliar supplemental fertilizers.
- Pest Management Plan
- Herbicide Recommendations – We will provide herbicide recommendations for planning and establish a plan for managing weeds and managing herbicide resistance.
- Strategy Recommendations for Common Pests – We will provide recommendations to aid in reducing pest problems. This will include discussion on rotations, varieties, seed treatments, pesticides and other methods of control.
- Profitable Production Practices Plan
- Soil Health Recommendations – We will help define the best tillage and cover crop mix for your operation and outline a plan accordingly.
- Variety Selection – We will help establish planting plan considering variety interactions with soil type, maturity, planting dates and harvest scheduling.
- Overall Management Guidelines – We will recommend best management practices for each crop to be grown.
One-time Zone Establishment Fee
- For new clients, we charge a small fee to create the initial georeferenced zones that we will use to pull soil samples. We will review soil types and visit each field to ground truth all zones. Yield maps, crop imagery and other data may also be used to define and refine zones. Electronic and paper copies are created, and ownership is retained by the grower.
Additional Optional Services
- Nematode samples will be pulled in approximately 25% of the established zones. Nematode samples are pulled in combination with soil samples. The same zones are sampled each year to monitor changes in nematode populations.
Soil Health Tracking
- One sample will be taken per 100 Acres. One location in a representative soil type will be chosen. The same location will be sampled yearly to monitor changes in soil health characteristics. Samples will be pulled in the spring as soils are warming up and soil biology is getting more active. Various biological, physical and chemical attributes, not available in traditional soil tests, will be analyzed and tracked.
All production management plans are customizable, and we can add and subtract as needed to produce a plan that fits your operations unique needs.
Zone Management Philosophy
We utilize a zone approach to soil sampling. We then use these management zones to produce variable rate lime and fertilizer maps. In our standard program our zones are around 4-5 acres on average but range from 1 to 5 acres depending on variability within each field. We pull 20 cores within each zone to make a sample.
Several factors are considered to help us delineate zones. Primarily, soil type is the most influential. However, drainage, crop history, yield history, crop growth imagery and other factors are also used to fine tune the zones. Ditchbanks are generally sampled separately from the general portion of the field. Over time the differing drainage and management often makes the ditchbanks become slightly more mineral compared to the rest of the field, which can influence lime and fertility recommendations. Things such as old windrows, old house or shop sites and any other man-made or natural change is taken into account and will be isolated as a separate zone.