Precision Ag Reviews
Precision Profile: Yielding savings with variable rate soybeans
Name: Scott Metzger
Farm Name: Metzger Family Farms
Location: Williamsport, Ohio
Pain Point: Increase operational efficiency and profitability
Scott is a sixth generation farmer. He farms 3,100 acres of soybeans, corn, wheat and malt barley with his uncle and two cousins.
The matter they were looking to solve:
As soybean prices declined, they considered ways their operation could be more profitable, and he felt variable rate seeding soybeans would be the lowest cost way for their farm to be more efficient.
He had concerns about maintaining yield by lowering their seeding populations because it was a drastic drop in population compared to what they were used to. They also worried if the yield dip would outweigh the savings in seed.
Scott recently upgraded his planter. The new-to-them, 2015 Case IH planter had Precision Planting DeltaForce and vSet, along with seed firmers and Martin closing wheels. In order to implement variable rate he had to move up a subscription level in Fieldview to make prescription maps. He then ran those maps to his Case IH Pro 700 that runs the planter.
Were expectations met:
The first year they tried variable rate seeding in soybeans they realized they needed a wider range in population than what they initially started with. By variable rate seeding, they dropped their soybean populations from 180,000-200,000 down to 110,000 to 180,000.
Determining the return on investment:
Scott has calculated they are saving 10-12% on seed cost. They are seeing on average a 8-10% higher yield in their soybeans.
The first year they variable rate seeded soybeans, it was more of a trial and error with a couple of fields. Now, three years later they variable rate 85% of their soybeans. He occasionally runs into issues uploading the prescriptions from Fieldview into the Pro 700.
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