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  • Writer's pictureMorgan Seger

Ep. 54: The Importance of Ag Data with Joshlin Yoder

Ep. 54: The Importance of Ag Data with Joshlin Yoder

If you had asked Joshlin Yoder earlier this summer how harvest might pan out, he might have had a bleaker answer than the one he has now. But as he sits in the combine harvesting soybeans, he’ll give you a more optimistic and grateful response.

“We caught just enough rain at the right times that overall, we’re going to have above-average beans and well above-average corn,” says Joshlin Yoder, a row crop and cattle farmer in northeast Missouri and Precision Ag Reviews ambassador.

While Joshlin can be excited about the harvest numbers on his farm, he knows that not all farmers have had the same luck this growing season.

“We’re going through an exciting, but challenging time in agriculture,” says Joshlin. “And making sure we’re positioned well to be able to handle those tough scenarios is important.”

Data Collection

One of the ways Joshlin makes critical decisions for his operation is through precision technology.

Yet, when we think of precision agriculture, we might think of autonomous tractors or drone sprayers. But for Joshlin, ag tech on his farm looks more like data.

While various technologies can help with the efficiencies and conveniences of farming, like auto steering, for example, Joshlin says that the longer he’s been farming, the more he believes that the data he collects is the most important aspect of using precision technology on his farm.

“Because of the data we collect, we are able to use it to help us make better decisions within all aspects of the operation,” states Joshlin. “From the seeds we choose to the planting populations and the rates of the chemicals, the data we collect is the most valuable portion of what we do and how we can continue to improve on what we’re doing in agriculture.”

Yield Data

For Joshlin, yield data has made the most impact on his farm.

By combining yield data with soil maps, Joshlin uses that information to help him determine variable rate prescriptions for fertilizer and variable rate populations for corn.

“Data lets us do a lot of research,” explains Joshlin. “And the yield is a great way to determine what is working best for us in a lot of different aspects.”

This data allowed Joshlin to experiment with planting populations this past planting season. He lowered his average soybean planting population and pushed a small trial area from 140,000 down to an 80,000 planting population.

Outsourcing Data Management

Experimenting is nothing new for Joshlin. He’s also done fertilizer and fungicide trials – all with the help of an expert to collect and analyze data. “It makes it very convenient and easy for us to see the results of the different things we’re trying,” says Joshlin.

Joshlin says that turning the reigns of data collection and analysis over to a trusted partner has been a lifesaver.

As farmers, Joshlin relates that “our number one objective is to get the work done. Whether it’s planting a crop, getting it sprayed, fertilized, or harvested, we’re so focused on the actual operation that sometimes it’s easy just to let things slide when it comes to analyzing the data.”

To make sure he is correctly gathering data and putting it into a format that he can use to help him make decisions, Joshlin says outsourcing this has made his job that much easier.

Here’s a glance at this episode:

  • [02:09] Joshlin shares how corn and soybean harvest is going for his operation.

  • [03:28] Joshlin explains how they got an early start on corn harvest and the moisture counts they’ve been getting.

  • [05:38] Placing priority on soil health, Joshlin shares how they utilize cover crops and their primary cover crop plant.

  • [07:49] Joshlin discusses why he believes the data they collect is the most important aspect of using precision technology on their farm.

  • [09:56] Discussing soybean population trials, Joshlin reveals how low they pushed their planting population in a small trial strip.

  • [11:09] Joshlin explains why it’s important to collect and use data to make decisions and why hiring someone to do this for you is beneficial.

  • [12:53] With automation and robotics being hot topics in ag tech, Joshlin shares how these technologies might play a role in the future of his operation.

  • [14:48] Joshlin leaves with what he’s looking forward to in 2023 and what one piece of technology he’s most excited about.

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Joshlin Yoder is from northeast Missouri, where he farms alongside his dad and brother. They run a row crop operation producing corn and soybeans. Joshlin also has a beef cattle operation. He graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in agricultural education and joined the day-to-day operations of the farm in 2008. Together with his wife and four kids, they are heavily involved in the farm and agriculture.



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