When it comes to managing 2700 acres of potatoes, Beau Hartline has seen a lot. But he says he’s never seen anything like Plant Insights crop health monitoring agriculture technology.
“With this technology, I can see down to the leaf level,” he says. “I can see an insect and a little tiny weed.” With Plant Insights, Hartline says his scouting program has truly evolved. He says that with the app, he sees things his scouts miss—like tiny potato beetle larvae—and that the technology helps him time his pest spraying better than ever before.
“Every time I open the app and see a tiny potato beetle larva, I’m super impressed,” Hartline says. “It really takes our scouting program to the next level.”
And not only does Plant Insights help Hartline better manage pests in his fields, but it also lets him stay one step ahead of them: “It helps me target my treatments,” he explains. “If you can target your treatments and you can improve yield a little bit, it pays for itself.”
David Müller’s family has farmed in the northern cape of South Africa since 1890. Irrigation Insights alerted him to plugged sprinklers that could have saved 3-5 tons per hectare.
According to David, irrigation is the most important factor contributing to the success of his farm. That’s why he invested in this agriculture technology. But It’s easy to get distracted and forget to check your pivots when many other things are happening on the farm. That might be a costly mistake!
Last March, he received an SMS notification from Irrigation Insights that there were irregular growth spans on one field between the center tower and the second tower. “When I received the notification, I didn’t pay too much attention,” said David. “We were running around attending to all of the matters at hand. To my regret, I forgot about the notification.”
Towards the end of the season, once harvest started, the yield monitor showed that yield was down in that area quite clearly. David went back to his phone and realized that Irrigation Insights had indeed alerted him to this problem. “I should have paid attention the moment I’ve received that notification. Sitting in the combiner, I was calculating the lost in income based on that notification. On the three hectares affected, I lost between three to five tons per hectare, compared to the average of the field.” Multiplied by a silo price of 4,500. David’s estimated loss was roughly around 60,000 rand.
When asked why David recommends Irrigation Insights to other growers, “It’s easy to use. It’s cost-effective, and it can save you a lot of money by identifying issues in irrigation so you can fix them quickly.” His advice for other growers already using Irrigation Insights: “Pay attention.”
When Ryan Brink heard about Plant Insights, as a 3rd generation farmer and crop production manager, he knew right away that it was something he needed to incorporate this ag technology at Golden Grain to improve the information gathered from the field and utilize their pivots better.
Ryan says that from weed identification to nutrient deficiencies, Plant Insights is picking up the potential problems in the field and making sure it’s getting to the farm managers right away so they can deal with that at a faster rate.
Plant Insights picked up on some nitrogen deficiencies in the field for Golden Grain last season. They moved up a planned fertigation pass based on a nutrient deficiency report that tissue samples weren’t picking up on. “That’s really important to us since it protects the crop yield that we have.”
Golden Grain was also able to save thousands by skipping an unnecessary fungicide pass on their corn. “Between helicopter costs and fertilizer costs, we were able to save quite a bit of money limited unnecessary passes,” says Ryan.
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