Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The economics of today’s agriculture necessitate looking for ways to improve profit margins. Accurate data collected with our precision ag equipment can have tremendous value. Harvest data reveals the results of everything that happened in our fields in any given year. However, data collection is more than just making yield maps; it’s a yearlong process. What type of Information can we collect?Most, if not all, field operations throughout the year can be recorded. This will depend upon the software program but operations such as tillage, planting, chemical and fertilizer applications, scouting data, tile installation and of course harvest data can all be recorded.Field notes and observations are an extremely vital part of the overall process. Keep a notebook containing the boundaries of each field in your truck. Use these maps to record important notes and observations on each trip to the field. Document specific sites for future follow-up visits or to serve as a reminder to check harvest data at these locations. Collect accurate dataData is only useful if it is accurate and it needs to be accurate not only at harvest, but throughout the year. We all have heard the phrase “garbage in, garbage out.” Inaccurate or bad data can have ramifications for many years. What happens if we enter the wrong hybrid or switch hybrids on our planting application map? This data is then used in the fall with yield data to evaluate hybrids. What happens when fertilizer applications are based upon inaccurate yield data?Calibrate, calibrate, calibrate — this is the most essential step in the data collection process, especially if you plan to use the data to make future management decisions. How many of us know someone who doesn’t make the time to calibrate their yield monitor? “Hey, I did it last year?” To have value, data collected for each operation must be accurate. Harvest dataIs the yield monitor just something to look at during harvest or does it serve as a valuable data collection tool? What happens to the data after harvest is over? Is the data utilized to make adjustments or to improve the farming operation? Use the dataVariation exists in each and every field. Some variation occurs naturally within our fields. Other variation is introduced by our activities. Study the data; analyze the data; and question the data. While we certainly cannot answer all of the questions, we can answer some of them. Which hybrids or varieties performed well and which ones need dropped from our lineup? Were there specific field conditions such as rainfall, insect, disease or weed pressures that affected performance? Did certain field characteristics like soil type or topography affect production? Based on our yield results did we apply the proper amount of crop nutrients? Can we use the field specific data to create better soil sampling maps? The list goes on and on. Big dataThis is now the popular term for precision ag data. We have the capabilities of collecting large quantities of data, as much as .85 kilobytes per plant. That may not sound like a lot, but it can add up to 26 megabytes per acre per year. Does your computer have the capability of storing and utilizing large quantities of data?Losing data can be very frustrating. Field specific data cannot be recreated. How often do you backup your data? At the very minimum backup your data monthly. During heavy data collection or analysis periods this might become a daily task.Where are backup files stored? Computer hard drive crashes usually result in data losses. If backups are stored on the same computer, on the same hard drive, they will be lost as well. Back up your data on a portable drive. Store this backup file in a different location such as the shop, toolbox or safe deposit box. Managing precision ag data is a yearlong process. Spending the time to collect accurate data will help to make sure valid data is being utilized in future management decisions.
Share Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Another round of talks in the ongoing trade war with China has led to another set of concerns for agriculture due to the potentially huge ramifications for the nation’s exports and commodity process.Ohio’s crop producers are holding out hope that, in the end, things will work out for the good of U.S. trade, but the stakes are very high for Ohio’s top agricultural crops. The political rhetoric and potential for massive demand impacts for corn, soybeans and wheat change by the hour on this ongoing one-upping of tariff roulette. At press time, U.S. Customs and Border Protection was set to begin collecting additional duties on designated Chinese goods July 6.“We should address our trade challenges by increasing our competitiveness, not creating new barriers,” said Allen Armstrong, Ohio Soybean Association president and Clark County soybean farmer. “Exports have been one of the few bright spots for farmers in recent years, and we can’t afford another hit to the bottom line.”The Ohio Soybean Association denounced the White House’s decision to impose a 25% tariff on $50 billion in Chinese products, which China has said it will answer with a retaliatory 25% tariff on imported U.S. soybeans, corn and over 100 other American products. China purchases 61% of total U.S. soybean exports and more than 30% of overall U.S. soybean production.“The collateral damage in this trade war will include not only Ohio grain farmers, but all Ohioans,” said Scott Metzger, OSA first vice president and Ross County soybean farmer. “Farm incomes are at multiyear lows, and this action will harm our state’s largest industry by undermining our top agricultural export.”Across Ohio, the loss of soybean exports to China would be an estimated $241 million annually, according to research from Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences (CFAES). According to the Ohio Development Services Agency, Ohio’s $1.8 billion in soybean exports in 2017 accounted for more than 3.5% of all Ohio commodity exports. Ohio is the sixth largest producer of soybeans in the U.S., with 4.8 million acres planted in 2017 and more than 60% of the state’s entire soybean production exported to international markets. China imported $13.9 billion in U.S. soybeans in 2017, 61% of total U.S. soy exports.When combined with losses from corn prices, Ohio State University researchers have projected a 59% loss in annual net farm income based on historical trends in yields on corn and soybeans and projections for price drops in both commodities due to the tariffs.For the study, the researchers compiled data from six Ohio corn and soybean farms of similar size and created a representative Ohio farm comprised of 1,100 acres split evenly between corn and soybeans. They used the representative farm to determine the financial toll a tariff could take on an Ohio farm.Net annual income on that representative Ohio farm was projected to drop from $63,577 to $26,107 under the proposed tariff, according to the study performed by Ben Brown, manager of CFAES’s farm management program and Ian Sheldon an agricultural economist, who serves as the Andersons Chair in Agricultural Marketing, Trade and Policy in CFAES.“There are farmers who are struggling across the state,” Brown said. “If the proposed tariffs go into effect, we’re going to have farmers who will have to exit the industry.”The financial losses stem from an expected drop in Chinese demand for U.S. soybeans and corn and in the world price for both crops.“The biggest impact will be on profits from soybeans, however corn is affected too,” Brown said.Other international trading partners, including Canada, the European Union, and Mexico have recently announced retaliatory tariffs in response to U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports as well, that could also dip into the profits of Ohio farmers.The losses from soybeans sales are projected to be far greater than for corn. Every year, 31% of the soybeans and 2% of the corn Ohio produces are exported to China.China is the largest buyer of soybeans in the world, and Brazil is its top supplier with the United States being second. If China imposes the threatened 25% tariff on U.S. soybeans that will drive up the price that Chinese companies have to pay for U.S. soybeans and encourage them to buy even more soybeans from Brazil, Brown said.“The U.S. remains the largest producers of soybeans, but it is safe to say that Brazil could become the number one producer of soybeans in the world with increased demand for their products,” said Brown, who along with Sheldon are in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics within CFAES.The United States may not be able to regain its share in selling soybeans to China, Sheldon said.He pointed to how the United States lost market share for its beef beginning in 2003 following Japan’s ban on imports of U.S. beef due to cases of mad cow disease in the United States. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Australia was able to increase its exports of beef to Japan, and the United States has not regained its share in that market, Sheldon said.“Why lose market share when you’re competing as well as you can,” Sheldon said of U.S. exports of soybeans and the prospect of a trade war with China. “It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me.”
Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray on Thursday met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee here, fuelling speculations in political circles.The Sena chief, accompanied by son Aaditya Thackeray, paid a visit to Ms. Banerjee in the afternoon at a south Mumbai hotel where she is staying.Both Shiv Sena and Ms. Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress (TMC) have been at loggerheads with the BJP and the Narendra Modi government on a host of issues, including demonetisation.Ms. Banerjee, who is in the city since Tuesday and expected to return to Kolkata on Friday, met top industrialists and bankers here on Wednesday as part of a roadshow. This comes ahead of the fourth edition of the Bengal Global Business Summit, to be held in Kolkata in January. The Shiv Sena had last year teamed up with the TMC in a bid to take on the BJP over the issue of demonetisation.Mr. Uddhav had told mediapersons in November last year that if there was nothing wrong in Prime Minister Modi meeting (NCP chief) Sharad Pawar, then there was nothing wrong if the Sena held talks with Ms. Banerjee on a crucial issue.