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2009 Sensor Based Nitrogen Management Conference. Jack Gerhardt GreenSeeker Representative 507.236.1144. Breaking News. Corn Producers achieve 100% Nitrogen Use Efficiency! Source: National Corn Growers Association Hypoxia in the Gulf: An Analytical White Paper June 2009

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2009 sensor based nitrogen management conference l.jpg

2009 Sensor Based NitrogenManagement Conference

Jack Gerhardt

GreenSeeker Representative


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Breaking News

  • Corn Producers achieve 100% Nitrogen Use Efficiency!

  • Source: National Corn Growers Association

    • Hypoxia in the Gulf: An Analytical White Paper

    • June 2009

    • “The amount of N fertilizer applied to corn acres is equal to the amount of N in the removed grain”

  • Let’s all go home and update our resumes

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  • Trimble Acquisition of NTech

  • GreenSeeker Product Developments

  • Field Observations

    • Sensor Based N Algorithms

    • Nitrogen Rich Strips

    • Sensor Adoption

    • State of Conventional N Management

  • Case Study: Dutch Creek Farms

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Trimble Acquisition

  • NTech acquired in June of 2009

  • Goal: Position Trimble as The Leader in Precision Ag

    • Expands product capabilities

    • Integrate sensing technology

    • Leverage Trimble market power to accelerate GS/WS adoption

  • Consistent with recent acquisitions of:

    • Rawson Controls

    • TruCount Clutches

    • FarmWorks Software

  • Since 2004, Trimble Ag has evolved from a navigation company to a major force in Precision Ag

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Key Trimble Offerings

  • FMX

    • 12.1” touch screen controller with 2 integrated GPS receivers

    • Planting/Application/Harvesting

    • Auto Steer / Implement Steering

    • Field Leveling / Water Mgt

    • Information Management

  • EZ Guide 250 and 500

    • Lightbar

    • Auto steer

    • Flat or VR application control

    • Mapping

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New GreenSeeker Developments

  • RT Commander Pro

    • 2007: Envisioned the need to consider historic information with real time rate decisions

    • RTC Pro is the first software to simultaneously access historic and real time information

    • Override, Enhance or Restrict real time algorithm- based rates based on zone delineation.

    • Applicable for:

      • VR planting populations

      • Center pivot field corners

      • Extreme soil or topographical variance

      • Any desired zone delineation (yield, Veris, etc)

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GreenSeeker® RT Commander Pro

When setting up a job, RT Commander Pro includes a background prescription map option.

Completely override the algorithm in selected areas, or

Multiply the algorithm values to increase or decrease the recommended rate

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GreenSeeker® Background Map

The pre determined management zones appear on the monitor as a background map.

The target rate applies outside the bounded areas, but is replaced by the over-ride prescription value (80) in the example above.

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2009 GreenSeeker Algorithms

  • Industry leader in Supported Nitrogen Algorithms (19 total, 10 crops)

    • Ag & Agri-Foods Canada-Oats, Barley, Durum, Canola (updates)

    • Missouri-cotton

    • More Pending

      • NE U.S. wheat, corn

      • SE U.S. cotton, corn

      • KSU corn

      • Global work in corn, wheat, sugar cane, rice

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RT Commander v1.3.9 (pending)

  • Featuring multi-language software to facilitate international adoption

    • Spanish

    • German

    • Dutch

    • French

    • Access up to 26 different languages

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RT150 Mapping Only System

Entry Level 3 Sensor Mapping Offering

Fully Upgradeable to VR Capabilities

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Where do we go from here?

  • Broader Controller Compatibility

    • GreenSeeker is Inclusive Technology-not exclusive. This is a barrier to adoption.

  • Sensor integration through ISO BUS development & standardization

    • Simplifies controller and user interface

  • Boom Section Control

    • “Accuracy is Addictive”

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Feedback from the Field

  • University/Researcher Algorithms:

    • Add credibility, but Farmer’s are skeptical

    • Viewed as a guide or compared to their N program

    • See GreenSeeker as a tool to improve “their own” nitrogen strategy via custom Rx option

    • Prefer local or regional algorithms

      • Universal Algorithm must allow for customization

    • Algorithms are often “tweaked” to achieve acceptable rates

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Nitrogen Rich Strips

  • Stop apologizing for Nitrogen Rich Strips!

  • They should be considered a BMP with or without sensor technology

  • Virtual Reference Strips do nothing to advance NUE

    • Just because you identify a peak value does not mean it is sufficient in N, or is representative of maximum seasonal yield potential

    • Still requires many passes to find “peak” value

    • Best fit for VRS is nitrogen rescue situations

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Adoption Rates

  • We’re changing Nitrogen practices; not making farmers better at what they are already doing

    • Side dress is too often a minority practice

    • Late stage crop N assessment is bothersome

  • Sensing requires a cultural change:

    • “Grandpa didn’t do it like this”

  • Best adoption model: No Till/Strip Till

  • Expect slow steady growth, unless:

    • New regulations drive adoption

    • Economics shift to incent adoption

    • Competition enters the market

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Welcome AgLeader & TopCon

  • If we are going to change the NUE world, it will take many voices.

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Revisiting the N Problem

  • Overriding N Fertilizer Mentality

    • Every year has homerun yield potential.

    • Weather conditions have little influence on the nitrogen rate decision.

    • Crop Advisors don’t take the time to account for mineralization in the total N supply

    • One pass N is easy and usually works well

    • “More (N) Is Better”

  • So what do we get…

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Blind Excess

Source: Elwyn Taylor ISU Meteorologist

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What can change this mentality?

  • Economics:

    • The high N prices of 2008 forced producers to collectively think about their N rates for the first time in years.

    • Farmers are trained to wait for economic incentives like EQIP before they act—this can actually delay adoption while they wait for a program & funding.

    • Since researchers acknowledge that mineralization exists, more of them could start considering it in their N rate recommendation, or we could….

    • Demonstrate that even in with today’s economics, there are large returns to capture.

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Case Study (In Progress): Dutch Creek Farms

  • Early GreenSeeker Adopter-2005

  • Views change as opportunity for short term competitive advantage

  • Recognized for outstanding environmental stewardship relating to farming practices

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Corn Production Program

  • North Central Iowa

  • 3rd year corn on corn

  • Strip Till

  • 3 Pass Nitrogen Plan

    • Fall Strip Till NPK (manure): 95 lbs

    • Early side dress v2-v4: 38 lbs

    • V10+ GreenSeeker side dress: ?

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Late Season Sensing v10-v12

ISU Calculator corn on corn rate: 181 lbs

Decision: Do Nothing

Farmer Practice 133 lbs N

N Rich Strip 200 lbs N

*95 lbs Fall Strip Till Manure

*38 lbs v3 UAN side dress

*95 lbs Fall Strip Manure

*105 lbs v3 UAN side dress

NDVI = .801

NDVI = .795

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  • Grower practiced BMP’s with respect to N Timing, Placement and Product

  • Without the right tools (NRS & sensors), grower may have unnecessarily applied an additional 46+ lbs of N

  • Sometimes you get paid to do nothing

  • Anticipated Savings:

    • 46 lbs x $.35 x 3900 acres = $62,790

    • $4 /ac application x 3900 acres = $15,600

    • Total avoided cost: $78,390

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Sensor Impact on NUE

  • If he harvests 180 bpa corn:

    • GreenSeeker NUE = .75

    • ISU Calculator NUE = 1.0

    • NDVI estimated yield potential: 209 bpa (.636 NUE)

  • That’s 179,400 lbs of N that didn’t go down the river….and that’s just one operation.