Evening edition | Friday, September 2, 2022
In tonight’s evening edition, learn about new equipment for field work, the importance of soil pH, and how to determine field profitability.
New technology in the fields
US and Brazil-based agricultural robotics startup Solinftec has unveiled its new Solix Sprayer robot that can autonomously detect and spray weeds in the field. The new ‘bot joins the Solix Scouting robot which is already in the fields in Brazil and the United States
Manufacturing, research and development company McKinney Corporation, which specializes in prototype work, will produce and manufacture the Solix Spray robot, which is expected to be commercially available in 2023.
Solinftec says its new offering can help farms reduce their chemical inputs and reduce their carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Editor Courtney Love gives an update on the new self-propelled forage harvesters from John Deere.
Three harvesters will be added to the range: the 9500, 9600 and 9700.
Each widebody model will be equipped with John Deere‘s X engine, 18L, which does not require diesel exhaust fluid. The 9000 Series also features a new nose that reduces clogging when cutting corn or very wet forages.
Profitability of the land
Yield monitors and the massive amount of data they generate have provided farmers with insight into crop performance for decades, but comprehensive analysis of the entire operation is needed to maximize profits, writes the editor-in-chief Laurie Bedord.
Although yield maps created from this data offer insight into crop yield and characteristics such as moisture content, Terry Griffin says these maps are not enough.
“Rather than a yield map, farmers can convert this information into a profitability map, which gives site-specific information about which parts of a field are profitable,” says precision agriculture economist Griffin. at Kansas State University.
pH and soil fertility
Maintaining soil pH allows crops to better utilize soil nutrients. The latest soil test summary from The Fertilizer Institute shows a decrease in soil pH nationwide, likely due to high crop yields and modern production practices that place high demands on soils.
Soil chemistry can take anywhere from two months to several years to neutralize soils, depending on lime source, parent soil material, and soil texture/buffering capacity.
Proactively measuring and making small changes to soil pH supports soil microbiology, nutrient availability, and plant growth, versus making large changes less often.