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Farm Journal Test Plots Can Help Farmers Learn

Oct 9, 2020
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It’s never too soon to plan for next spring. Although conditions can vary greatly from year to year, there’s always an opportunity to use learnings about how techniques, tools and technology affected this year’s crop, and then put those learnings into planning and practice for the following season. To help you navigate, Farm Journal conducts test plots on real farms with a full range of equipment, with a goal to provide independent and actionable guidance for farmers on production practices and new technologies to improve yields, profitability and sustainability.

The Farm Journal Field Agronomists are always digging in the dirt to learn more – from making sure all checks are in place before planting, monitoring crops during the growing season, using cutting-edge imaging technology and ground truthing every step of the way. The test plots team scouts and monitors diseases, insects and problem areas as well. At harvest, the grain from each plot is weighed to verify the accuracy of the calibrated yield monitor and make sure they have precise yield data. From there, they analyze all the data and, regardless of the results, report bias-free information to Farm Journal’s readers.

Kubota ag tractors have had the opportunity to be part of the test plot action for the past few years. “In the Farm Journal Test Plots we used the Kubota mostly for planting tests plots,” said Issac Ferrie, Crop-Tech Consulting’s field agronomist. “As we implement some of the new technology on planters today, hydraulic flow requirements drastically increase. To meet these hydraulic requirements, it usually means increasing tractor size and horsepower beyond what is needed. This means more weight and compaction in the pinch rows, especially during wet springs when conditions are marginal. The compact size and weight of the Kubota tractor, along with the high hydraulic output, made it a very nice fit for our planter.” 

To learn more about how the agronomists apply their extensive knowledge and systems approach to farming to the plots from start to crop and all predictions in between, click here.