In December 2015, Clint Diggs, a grower from Tennessee, attended our first annual FarmLogs User Conference and learned about a proven scouting methodology that he says will save him an estimated $16,000 in future growing seasons. In this blog post we'll explain what he learned and how he says he'll save.
The Presentation That Changed Everything
At the User Conference, Clint attended a presentation that was given by our Senior Agronomist, Dr. Tracy Blackmer, who has over 20 years of experience incorporating precision agriculture technologies into agronomic management for growers.
In his presentation, Tracy talked about the ways that satellite imagery can help farmers scout more efficiently. He offered ideas, concepts, and case studies that attendee Clint Diggs says led him to an estimated $16,000 discovery.
The following slides come directly from Tracy’s presentation and illustrate three of his big takeaways.
Takeaway 1: A bird’s-eye view of your fields can provide insights that you can’t discover from the ground.
Takeaway 2: Remotely-sensed satellite imagery can be used as a tool to guide your in-season scouting efforts.
Takeaway 3: Satellite imagery can also be a powerful management feedback tool. Catch mistakes that were made this year to prevent them from happening again next year.
In this satellite image we see streaking that indicates irrigation nozzle problems.
In this satellite image we see streaking and spotting that shows nozzle and nitrogen stress problems.
In this satellite image we can see the effects of uneven manure application.
What Clint Discovered About His Own Fields With Satellite Imagery
What Tracy had revealed in his presentation about the power of satellite imagery resonated with Clint. After the User Conference, he upgraded his FarmLogs account to gain access to Crop Health Imagery. By doing so he gained immediate access to one year of historical satellite imagery for each of his fields, in addition to in-season imagery.
Remembering that satellite imagery could be used as a feedback tool, he began looking at his 2015 field imagery for any unusual patterns that he could potentially address in 2016.
And then he found something.
In early March 2016, he reached out to the FarmLogs Customer Happiness team and asked about his discovery. He said:
“Is there ever a problem with streaks in the WRDVI [FarmLogs satellite] imagery? Most of my 2015 field imagery for August 24-25 shows streaks, but the streaks conspicuously follow the rows. I am thinking that they must be inadequate coverage from the aerial fungicide application. Have you seen this agronomic application problem pinpointed with your imagery before? I remember at the User Conference seeing the usefulness of your imagery identifying fertilization problems.”
This is one of Clint’s 2015 fields. In this satellite image, you can see the light, vertical streaking he references in his email to the Customer Happiness team.
An hour after Clint sent his email, Hilary from the Customer Happiness team responded to his question.
Hilary Zdanowski, Customer Success Manager
Here's her reply:
“Hi Clint, ...We would love to have Tracy (the agronomist who presented at the User Conference) take a look at the images you are referring to. Can you please provide images of a few or all your fields that he can look at?”
Hilary arranged for Clint and Tracy to meet via a Google Hangout less than a week later. Tracy was given access to Clint’s imagery before the meeting so he had time to analyze what he was seeing and could come to the meeting prepared to share his findings.
Why Clint Says Satellite Imagery Will Save Him $16,000
When Tracy looked at Clint’s imagery, he knew immediately that what he was seeing was an equipment issue.
Tracy said, “When Clint and I connected, I already had a good idea of what I was seeing in his fields. The light streaking in his imagery indicated that it was an application issue. Because there’s 100 feet between each row, it meant one of two things: that both edges of a 100-foot applicator weren’t putting out the full rate of nitrogen or the edge of one side of a 50-foot applicator wasn’t [putting out the right rate of nitrogen]. Once we knew what equipment he was using, and the width of the pattern, we were able to pretty quickly narrow down the cause.”
In Clint’s Own Words
After Clint and Tracy discussed Clint’s satellite imagery, Hilary followed up with Clint to say she hoped he found the session helpful. He replied almost immediately to say that the session had indeed been helpful. So helpful, in fact, that he invited FarmLogs to share his streaked field imagery and the details about his discovery with other FarmLogs users and growers.
In his own words, Clint explains exactly how FarmLogs satellite imagery will help him save an estimated $16,000 a year in future seasons:
“Thank you for the personal counsel on my imagery. It looks like uneven application of nitrogen with my sprayer last year cost me 20 bushels per acre in 15-foot-strips every 100 feet. That comes out to an average of 3 bushels per acre. My total loss last year on 1200 acres of corn may have been $16,000. Having last season’s WRDVI [FarmLogs satellite] imagery is the only way I could have identified the problem. Now I can avoid the same problem every year in the future. FarmLogs just saved me $16,000 per year!"
What will you discover in your fields?
If you already have a free FarmLogs Standard account, we hope you’re taking full advantage of everything that the platform offers. (Check out this blog post to rediscover 20 surprising things you can do for free with FarmLogs Standard.)
But there’s even more you can do with your account by upgrading to FarmLogs Crop Manager, which includes Crop Health Imagery, Crop Health Alerts, and Nitrogen Monitoring.
It’s with FarmLogs Crop Manager that you’ll gain immediate access to the same historical and in-season satellite field imagery that Clint used to spot his costly application problems.