Computing Agriculture and Nutrient Stewardship
The 21st Century is the era of computing agriculture and the 4Rs; that is, ensuring the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. This is a key concept and goal of precision farming – in the field and in the lab.
Computing Agriculture and Nutrient StewardshipThe 21st Century is the era of computing agriculture and the 4Rs; that is, ensuring the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time, and in the right place. This is a key concept and goal of precision farming – in the field and in the lab.
Right Source, Right Rate, Right Time, Right Place
The 21st Century is the era of computing agriculture and the 4Rs; that is, ensuring:
- the right fertilizer source
- at the right rate
- at the right time
- and in the right place
This is a key concept and goal of precision farming – in the field and in the lab. As simulating plant growth on a computer screen and the “in silico” term become more popular as a way to understand plant nutrition, companies like Climate Corp. and Pioneer (Encirca) along with universities like Cornell University (Adapt N) are using the predictive analysis to develop Variable Rate Nitrogen Models.
Why is this topic so important? Today’s agriculture is tasked with the job of maximizing yields to meet the demand of a growing population, expected to reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, while addressing the need to optimize the fertility and minimize nutrient losses. Stories, such as the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, can give agriculture a bad rap. But, agriculture communities will be the first to tell you that their number one concern is finding “the sweet spot” of the nitrogen (nutrient) management, where their crops will thrive and have record yields with minimum input application and costs.
This is where modeling software is coming into play. By overlapping different data layers like topography, soil structure, yield, hybrids, weather and multiple others, we are now capable of creating models of water and nutrient movement throughout the soil profile. Those models are the base of Variable Rate Nitrogen. Where 10 years ago, using Variable Rate Technology for Nitrogen application was considered unrealistic, growers now have an array of tools that allow them to optimize each field based on its own characteristics and history. Technology is enabling not only a more productive future, but also a more sustainable future.
Written by: Corina Ardelean
Corina Ardelean is a Product Manager for Global Fuse Product Management & North America Commercial Strategic Initiatives at AGCO. She is responsible for developing AGCO’s Farm Optimization Services program, which hinges on the open approach to data management in a mixed fleet environment. To learn more about Fuse, visit www.AGCOcorp.com/Fuse.