A new way to increase the value of
your precision farming investment
– By becoming part of a community of shared information!
While most farmers know that weather is really "king" when it
comes to how crop’s yield, many studies have shown that the use
of precision farming can increase yield, particularly with the
use of GPS based yield monitors. In short, precision farming is
the merging of satelite technology with your crop harvest. How?
By allowing you to precisely connect your combine's location and
harvest results in real time.
There are twenty four satellites above the
earth in geo-synchronous orbit providing accurate location
coordinates in the form of latitude and longitude. These
signals can be picked up by GPS receivers anywhere in the
The yield monitor itself records details about your harvest,
such as average yield and moisture content. But, If your
yield monitor includes a GPS receiver, then the data it
records includes your exact position.
With this technology, and some
additional software, you can create graphical view of your
field that identifes areas of high and low yield and that
therefore provides the information you need to make input
decisions that can improve economic outcome. For example,
- Identify areas that require more, or less, chemical
- Determine which hybrid worked best in your particular
- Optimize any practice or input to maximum effieciency
What are the limitations?
Even with today’s technology, such analysis has its limitations
– especially when it comes to making decisions. Why? Because the
analysis of only one, or even a few fields, provides too small
a sample to build statistical confidence. Should I continue using
the same hybrid, or not? In some cases, the analysis may result
in data that is biased toward favoring a particular hybrid.
Taking precision farming
analysis to the next level - online analysis..!
Now there is a way to put even single-field information into a
broader context. HarvestMap Systems, Inc. is bringing the power
of the Internet to the arena of Precision Farming analysis. HarvestMap
will perform the analysis of each yield monitor file completely
online. With this approach, a whole new set of benefits can be
realized. Not only will you be able to view the yield maps your
accustomed to, but you can also receive several additional benefits,
such as comparing result against a community of similar fields.
How does it work?
The farmer simply uploads his yield Monitor file to the HarvestMap
network after he receives a unique username and password. No one
but that user can view the yield map of that field, but the summary
of that field becomes part of the HarvestMap community, helping
to create a pool of valuable information.
What are the benefits?
There really are two main ones: one; providing users online access
to a database that contains yield results from all across North
America, and two; incorporating real-time information into the
decision-making process, such as commodity pricing – all for a
specific field. The value of the "community" data coming from
the yield monitor files cannot be overstated.
For example, this information could be used to compare how well
your hybrid performed against a whole range of others. Members
of the HarvestMap community can ask questions of the database
and discover which hybrids performed best, under conditions they
specify, or find out how their hybrid of choice ranked in performance
against others – regardless of the hybrid type. These searches
can be qualified with a set of options, such as:
- Specify hybrid supplier, or ALL,
- Specify soil type, or not,
- Details about the growing season,
- ... and more.
HarvestMap Systems also plans to perform its own "data mining"
of the database and periodically publish results to the site.
This report will rank hybrids and chemicals by performance under
a variety of conditions. This analysis and raning is unbiased
as HartvestMap has no connection with seed, chemical, or other
The value of the real-time analysis includes computing gross
profit based upon your total yield and, the current commodity
price of your choice. Taking this further, the company’s tools
allow a range of "what-if" scenarios with which the producer can
elect to re-compute the yield by substituting his hybrid with
other higher-yielding seeds or more efficient chemicals from the
HarvestMap database. This substitution option brings the power
of "community" data into play, vastly increasing the power of
the precision farming concept. Based on the growing historical
data, a prediction can be made on your yield increase (albeit
a statistical prediction). Users can not only increase their yield,
but also their profit – that is the real objective of these tools.
HarvestMap Systems has launched these new services and they are
now availavle. A subscriber to this service can expect to use
the following tools:
Will farmers be willing to upload their yield monitor files to
an Internet site? Can farmers be secure knowing that the details
is to not allow anyone to view a farmer's specific yield data
or maps – though the summary statistics will become part of the
shared community of knowledge; albeit anonymously. Joe Nelson,
President and CEO of HarvestMap Systems, Says, "I believe that
farmers will come to realize that the value of their yield monitor
files are greatly amplified when it becomes part of a larger community.
It is to their benefit to become part of a shared knowledge pool."
Who can use these services?
To become a member of the HarvestMap community, and take advantage
of these new services, one needs to subscribe. The price of subscription
is divided between an annual fee and a monthly fee. The monthly
fee, however, will descrease subscribers upload their yield monitor
files. The HarvestMap philosophy is that the fee should be lower
for those who participate in this community with their own data.
"This concept pushes the value of precision farming analysis
to the next logical level," Nelson says. "Granted, farming is
a gamble, and largely dependent upon the weather. But all things
being equal, the use of precision farming techniques does provide
an edge. By becoming a member of the HarvestMap community," he
adds, "farmers can take a quantum leap forward in the realm of
precision farming analysis."
HarvestMap is offering the error correction feature for two reasons.
Several studies have shown that yield monitor files can have errors
- some that are inherent to the process, and some that are user
related. HarvestMap addresses and corrects such errors, including:
- Removing the outlier areas,
- Load name to hybrid name correction,
- Yield calibration,
- Combine GPS receiver offset.
This feature obviously benefits the farmer, but it also ensures
that the HarvestMap database remains accurate. For more detail
about these products, click the following...