What is in this article?:
- Started 25 years ago with variable-rate fertilizer applications
- Variable-rate seeding in corn
- Variable-rate applications by flying service.
- Pre-plant variable-rate applications
For Louise, Miss., cotton producer Darrington Seward, precision farming is not just a high-tech, futuristic way of farming. It’s standard operating procedure on his farm.
“We’ve done variable-rate seeding in corn, but not in cotton. I have a test plot on one of my farms working with University of Arkansas Agricultural Economist Terry Griffin and Arkansas Extension Cotton Specialist Tom Barber looking at variable-rate seeding. We’re putting out a higher seeding rate on our heavier soil type, where it’s harder to get a stand.”
The Sewards use their Rogator applicator to make the first application (variable-rate) of a split nitrogen application. The nitrogen is incorporated with a Do-all when planting cotton.
The farm will acquire imagery from Jimmy Sanders the second week in June, “and we’ll start using that image when the need arises for PGRs. We really like to manage our crop aggressively with PGRs.
“We also can piggyback our insecticides with our PGRs. We have more insecticide going out on the lusher parts of the field. But we don’t scrimp on the low rate, to help us continue to manage resistance. The control has been excellent.”
Matt Peterson, at Cleveland, Miss., helps the Sewards write the prescriptions for the Hemisphere GPS software.
In late August or early September, Jimmy Sanders will provide imagery for defoliant.
Ned Darbonne, a consultant with Bayer CropScience, and Julian Crawford, field man from Jimmy Sanders, “will scout our crop and provide us with the rates we need for defoliant.
“We usually find that three rates for PGRs and defoliants is just about right. Any more is more than the airplane can handle.”
Variable-rate applications are made by the Sewards’ flying service, Producers Flying.
“We have the absolute best pilot around in Kelly Peeler. He’s very meticulous and has provided us with a tremendous amount of feedback to make these systems actually work.”
The pre-plant variable-rate applications of nitrogen, PGRs and defoliants allow the Sewards to defoliate in one shot.
“It’s very surgical. I can also pick 5-6 days earlier than my neighbors who defoliated at the same time using a straight rate.”