Data tool helps farmers earn more cash by mapping profits

04-07-2017 | |
Data tool helps farmers earn more cash by mapping profits

Growers using a precision farming software package from UK crop production specialist Hutchinsons can now compare the profitability of different fields, and even map differences within an individual field.

The new Yield Performance mapping feature of the Omnia Precision Agronomy software enables growers and agronomists to analyse multiple layers of field data – including yield maps – to identify areas that are performing less well than others, thereby inform management decisions.

“Generating yield maps is no more than an exercise in data collection,” says Omnia services leader Matt Ward. “It’s how this data is interpreted in conjunction with all the other factors that can affect yield that’s valuable.”

Omnia Yield Performance mapping

Yield Performance mapping can categorise areas of fields according to performance consistency – whether good or poor – enabling more effective management decisions.

It may be that a higher yielding area is shown to be potentially inconsistent, in which case it may not be worth pushing that area agronomically, whereas an area that is consistently average-yielding could be worth investment.

Hutchinson Omnia Field Performance capture (3)

Hutchinson Omnia Field Performance

Cost mapping

This leads to the second new feature – Cost of Production mapping – which creates average production cost information by crop, market outlet, variety or by field, using known or predicted costs and yields.

“Where growers have variable inputs or yield map data, it makes sense to manage costs on a more site-specific basis,” says Matt Ward. “But variation in output across a field and the increasing use of variable input applications means that some elements of the cost of production can be misleading when calculated on a field scale.”

Cost of Production mapping

Cost of Production mapping can generate a snapshot of individual site performance based on standard industry costs or on detailed cost information bespoke to the individual farming business.

Hutchinsons says using these Omnia features in combination provides growers and agronomists with a way of addressing variability across the farm business, and eliminating loss loss-makings that impact overall farm profitability.

Peter Hill Machinery writer