Walker’s Story Part III: Preventing Yield Threats with FarmLogs Crop Health Imagery

April 20, 2017

The final installment of Walker’s story focuses on how he discovered a pollination error using FarmLogs Crop Health Alerts. If you missed the first two parts of Walker’s story, you can find them here:  

Walker’s Story Part I: Using GDD to Track Growth Stages of Corn

Walker’s Story Part II: Planning Irrigation Scheduling with FarmLogs Rainfall Tracker

Discovering a pollination error

One day, we were scouting a field and checking kernel fill on our corn stalks when we realized that some of the cobbs we grabbed up had little-to-no corn in them. The kernels weren’t filled out and we had a major problem. After weeks of thinking and talking to crop consultants, we realized that we had a pollination error in one part of the field and we had no idea how big the spot was. Forecasting a yield for the end of the year was difficult, not knowing how large the affected area was, so the only thing left to do was wait, as the problem had already come and gone.


After weeks of worrying, I stumbled upon my free preview of FarmLogs Crop Health Imagery for one field and used it on the field where we had discovered the pollination error. When I checked the imagery in my account, there was a Crop Health Alert on an image of the field that was taken several weeks before we had found the problem in the field.

 

The Crop Health Alert that Walker received on his field due to a pollination problem
The Crop Health Alert that Walker received on his field due to a pollination problem

 

We also found that the Crop Health Alert area matched the yield monitor on our combine perfectly. We saw a huge drop in yield in the same area that was indicated in the Crop Health Alert. That’s when I realized that FarmLogs Crop Health Alerts work and that we needed to start using it. 

The reason I trust FarmLogs is because it's accurate. The spot in the Crop Health Alert was the exact size of the pollination problem in the field, and it matched the yield monitor perfectly. I thought to myself, "Man this is awesome, this Crop Health Alert actually works."
Walker recording scouting notes on his family farm in Louisiana
Walker recording scouting notes on his family farm in Louisiana 


The results

The affected spot could have been up to 120 acres and it would have really hurt our yield. Luckily, we discovered that the area was smaller and concentrated to the front part of the field, but if we would have been using Crop Health Imagery to monitor our crop on this field from the beginning of the season, we could have been proactive and kept this issue from ever happening in the first place.

The way I see it, farmers and technology are going to have to become one. There is a gap developing that needs to be filled and if it’s not, farmers will eventually be pushed out of business.

 

Follow Walker on Instagram @walkdawg25 to see more photos and ask him any questions you might have!  

 


 

More Information: How Do Crop Health Alerts Work?

FarmLogs monitors the health of your crop against a baseline of how the field typically performs. That field’s baseline is calculated by using historical satellite imagery that dates back to 2009, along with images of the same season.

An alert is only sent when plant growth looks different than normal for a specific area in your field, which means you shouldn’t get notified unless we detect something out of the ordinary for that particular field. In Walker’s case, he received an alert due to a pollination error that was unusually impacting the growth of his crop.

 

FarmLogs Crop Manager—schedule a demo!

Rachel Nizinski, Marketing Coordinator

Author

Rachel Nizinski, Marketing Coordinator