Decisive Farming delivers a unique blend of technology, agronomy, and crop marketing services to both small and large farms. However, did you know that delivering first-class variable rate application services requires a high-touch delivery approach that draws on expertise across several key disciplines? Let’s looks at what happens behind the scenes, and the roles provided by Decisive Farming’s Customer Success and GIS teams.
Delivering effective variable rate services requires dedicated experts in the fields of GPS mapping, agronomy, soil testing, farm equipment, and a general knowledge of farming practices. Decisive Farming’s Customer Success and GIS teams work together to deliver services for customers.
Make VRT easy for growers
The great thing about variable rate services is that it eliminates the guesswork for where and how much seed and fertilizer to apply. However, growers and service providers alike know that getting that variable rate prescription file requires the right combination of expertise and technologies. This combination is invaluable for growers just starting down the road to adopting variable rate.
Decisive Farming makes the experience of VRT simple for growers by integrating service delivery with the My Farm Manager cloud-based software. Each step and each decision point for the grower, as well as all results and prescriptions, are managed through the software interface. By combining the My Farm Manager experience with farm visits and phone calls, we made the entire experience predictable and streamlined.
“I have the best job in the world,” says Lisa Rockburn, Office Manager. I get involved with the delivery of service for most of our farms, and I see first-hand how the expertise from our team makes a huge difference for growers.”
It starts with understanding the farm
Before anything else, we spend time understanding the current practices on the farm, uncovering known concerns, and also setting up the My Farm Manager account in preparation for delivering variable rate services. We capture information such as which crops will be grown, historical yields, and the equipment used. A GIS technician builds the field boundaries and zone maps storing the data in our geospatial database and giving access to growers via their My Farm Manager account.
Soil testing and analysis
Annual soil testing is an essential tool to gathering real data that leads to a comprehensive plan for the grower and then ultimately a variable rate prescription.
Recommendations are first scientifically-based within our software, followed by a discussion between our agronomist and the grower to finalize the recommendations so that it best aligns to the farm’s equipment and logistical capabilities. This combination of data-driven science with a hands-on fine tuning is the key to developing the best variable rate prescription.
Once finalized, the recommendations are GPS-referenced allowing the tractor’s equipment to automatically control the level of seed and fertilizer used at every spot on your fields.
Delivery and evaluation
Delivery of the variable rate prescription to a grower is not the final stage of the service. We want to make sure the grower succeeds and we do that by being part of his team year round.
Additional services such as Runtime Support provides Geo-referenced test files that the grower uses make sure his GPS, controller, and seeding equipment are all communicating properly before it’s time to seed therefore almost eliminating in-field technology errors.
Finally, the yield data collected will be used to create yield reports that shows the grower the tracked results by zone.
“Many of our customers sign up their whole farm on a 4-year variable rate plan understanding that we will drive improvements over multiple seasons,” says Decisive Farming CEO Remi Schmaltz. “Each season’s results are tracked in My Farm Manager allowing our senior fertility agronomists to work with the grower to evolve best practices and make continual improvements over several seasons.”
Our customers appreciate the long-term view we take, and understand that our team of experts are driven to help them be decisive and achieve their goals every time.