How do Bedfordia Farms use GPS technology?
Bedfordia Farms has been soil sampled via GPS and the results digitally mapped. From the soil analysis data, detailed field maps are produced showing the areas of variation and macro element levels. Please see Example Soil Descriptions Bedfordia Farms.
- Via a variable rate controlled fertiliser spreader the macro elements, mainly phosphate on this Farm, can be variably applied to each area based on requirements indicated by the soil analysis- allowing the crop to reach its potential.
- All the cultivation machinery is steered via RTK GPS controllers in field to an accuracy of 25mm year to year.
- Soil maps that identify the spatial distribution of soil texture within the fields are required to create prescription maps for seed drilling. This is achieved through examining soil conductivity in the fields (EM38 scanning) and then “proofing” this with farm experience of the field area and seeding boundaries.
- Using the prescription maps from the soil scanning, the rate controller on the drill can variably apply seed across the field. The operator can see an in cab display as the seed rate change across the field.
- In the spring, real time sensing of the crop allows variable rates within field for fertiliser and agrochemicals. Each time the sprayer passes over the field a map of the leaf area is produced via the N Sensor so fields and blocks of fields can be examined in greater detail for areas of variation.
- GPS controller on the sprayer turns boom sections on and off, this significantly reduces under or over application on the headlands.
- Yield mapping on both combines. This information can be overlaid year on year to give yield data that represents a number of growing seasons. The strength of this yield data is used to question and refine the zone boundaries on the seeding prescription maps and future agronomy decision.
Precision farming is a farming management concept based on observing, measuring and responding to inter and intra-field variability in crops.
Precision Farming increases overall yield and improves consistent net crop margins. This is done through targeting ear density number at harvest, seed rate control within the field and reducing variations within the field over the growing season in order to lift the yield total.
Precision agriculture aims to optimize field-level management with regard to;
- Crop science: allowing applications to match crops needs
- Environmental protection: by limiting the footprint over the land and only applying what is needed by the crop
- Economics: by accurate application management both time and product wastage are limited
Precision farming also provides farmers with the opportunity to;
- Build up a record of their farm;
- Improve decision-making;
- Foster greater traceability