Now Reading: Last-Minute Checkup: Preparing To Collect Planting Data

Last-Minute Checkup: Preparing To Collect Planting Data

by Bret Sitzmann, Product Marketing Director, The Climate Corporation

April 3, 2019

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It’s early on a March morning in southern Indiana and Andy Lowry is up before the sun with the same goal as many Midwest farmers – taking back time. When I catch him on the phone, he is in his tractor cab, busy spreading potash and manure across some of the dryer fields of his corn, soybean and livestock farm near Owensville.

“It’s been a challenging few months,” says Lowry. “We managed to get in part of our fall fertility and tillage, but not much. Now we’re playing catch up.” Lowry, who farms about 1,300 acres with his father, says there was frost in the fields until just a few days prior to our conversation. “We finally have some drying and warmth, and if we miss the rain tomorrow you’ll see more guys doing field work – everyone’s itching to get out there.”

Andy Lowry (here with his son) has a corn, soybean and livestock farm in southern Indiana.

“Margins are tight and we need every possible advantage.”
It’s a common theme across the Corn Belt: after a wet fall and cold winter that kept many farmers out of their fields, growers are looking for every opportunity to prep for the coming planting season. Will planting be delayed for Lowry and his team? “I’m hoping it will be close to our planned schedule,” he says. “We’re just far enough south where we missed some of the harshest conditions but it’s still hard to tell. Farmer’s Almanac always says a late Easter means late planting, so there’s that.”

To make key decisions around his operation however, Lowry typically focuses on digital data more than printed almanacs. “Now more than ever, margins are tight and we need every possible advantage,” he says. “We started using Climate FieldView™ three seasons ago and we were impressed right off the bat. We’ve come to rely on the yield analysis feature that easily organizes data by hybrid and soil type and it makes seed selection much less emotional – it becomes black and white which hybrid is the right choice for each field.”

“FieldView™ makes it easy to track results.”
Lowry says his curious nature has helped him to find innovative solutions in agriculture. After growing up on the family farm, he attended Purdue University, then worked in bovine genetics and cattle nutrition (he is still an independent representative) before returning home, buying some of his own ground and also working with his dad. Digital farming has played a key role in his success, beginning at planting time.

From tracking hybrids to mapping sidedress applications and variable rate fertilizer, Lowry appreciates how he has all of his data in one accessible place. “We also run split-planting trials to compare hybrids head to head with eight rows on each side of the planter,” he says. “FieldView makes it easy to track results.”

What’s Lowry’s favorite thing about FieldView? “We have different brands of tractors and sprayers - both green and red – and FieldView seamlessly works with all colors,” he says. “It’s nice having valuable technology that’s universal.”

Last-minute planting checklist.

At Climate, we’re always ready to help farmers like Andy – and you – with guidance and resources to help you hit the ground running for planting season and collect data you will use throughout the year to make key decisions.

Here’s a checklist of resources to make sure you’re ready.

Finally, if you’d like a bit more hands-on help, we’re happy to send a Climate Activation Specialist to walk you through checking equipment compatibility, setting up your equipment, installing your FieldView Drive and setting up your hybrid or variety list.

If you need assistance or have any questions, contact your FieldView dealer, or the Climate Support Team at (888) 924-7475 or support@climate.com.

About The Author
As a product marketing director at Climate, Bret helps to advance the development and awareness of digital agriculture tools that help farmers and dealers achieve higher levels of productivity. He is a Certified Crop Advisor and holds a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy from Iowa State University.

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