About 6 months ago

How Cooperatives Can Help Growers Improve ROI With Digital Ag in 2021

FluroSat surveyed 283 US professionals and growers, at the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, in the spring of 2020. About 30% were worried they would not be able to maintain optimum field operations, given the lack of farm visits, which was hampering crop advisory services. The pandemic is set to continue well into 2021, so we can expect similar working conditions this year. 

Addressing these universal concerns across our farming community, FluroSat analytics platform, FluroSense is designed to increase visibility on every field you manage, power your agronomic recommendations, and enhance your service quality. No matter where you deliver your service from.

1. Monitor your Crops From Emergence to Harvest

Every grower and crop advisor knows that crop growth isn’t uniform across the farm. FluroSat can turn this old challenge into a new opportunity by helping you quantify variability in your crop growth and productivity across the farm, as well as suggest management zones on a sub-field level.

With crop performance metrics and in-depth information on the state of the crop in every field updated several times a week, you will be able to spot the fields that are progressing easily and those that are lagging in a single place through the Dashboard (See Figure 1) so you can immediately focus your attention, and be as proactive as one can be in addressing the issues with those fields. 

FluroSat detects the crop growth stage and growth speed throughout the season by running crop models on weather and satellite imagery to provide you easy-to-understand information and take action.

You can monitor field conditions by tracking: 

  • Growth stages (Emergence through to Senescence)
  • Crop growth and speed
  • Crop stress 
Figure 1: With FluroSense Dashboard, you get visibility of all crops, in various stages of growth, on a single screen.

The Crop Stress algorithm analyzes your field to highlight stressed acres. It also provides information detailing the date the stress was first spotted, how it’s been spreading or retracting in the field, and how much worse or better the area has been performing since the stress was first spotted. Guided by these insights, you will be able to visit the right fields that need your attention, sample and diagnose early stressed areas proactively and apply the recommended treatment where required. (See Figure 2)

  • Alert farmers to scout areas where stress is developing, to find the cause, and proactively treat the area.
  • Identify fields ready for harvest to help your growers coordinate operations to save time and labor costs.
Figure 2: Virtual scouting based on crop analytics allows you to spot risks long before they are visible in the field.

2. Optimize Field Conditions to Increase Yield

More is not always right. The conventional practice of applying general recommendations of inputs of fertilizers and pesticides to the entire fields have robbed farm soil of its natural fertility and have reduced yields. 

FluroSat in-season nitrogen recommendation tool is an excellent example of how an agronomist can optimize their recommendation to each field and each acre she/he is consulting on. Using this tool, agronomists can input farmer’s yield goals and the price of fertilizer and the crop to generate multiple economic scenarios to choose from, targeting specifically the goals of maximizing yield, maximizing ROI, or a balanced approach between the two. The nitrogen tool also allows you to optimize your field conditions by allowing you to influence the seasonal outlook using the slide bar that you can select to describe the seasonal weather, that being an extremely dry year to an extremely wet year.  (See Figure 3). 

Figure 3: FluroSense Nitrogen Recommendations integrate input costs, yield goals, and risks, with actionable insights, to help you calculate the input levels your grower needs to get their desired ROI.

FluroSat also delivers actionable insights as email reports. Even though you may be far from the field, in your office, you can share these emails to provide timely personalized information and advice to your growers so that they can

  • Provide optimum levels of fertilizers and avoid nutrition deficiency
  • Minimize risks of pest, weed, and disease attacks
  • Optimize irrigation by identifying failures in the equipment

3. Benchmark Varieties and Share the Insights 

With trials being an on-going part of precision ag teams at coops and ag retailers, FluroSense offers a dedicated module for in-field trial management and semi-automated analysis. It allows the agronomist to upload or draw the trial layout, visualize and download multiple vegetation indices for each plot, and compare the trends of crop response for each of the plots or for several ones combined. 

These tools combined with precision planting or application data from machinery integrated via one of our partner APIs will allow the agronomist to trial new varieties, management practices, new products, and treatments or doses and create reports to measure and visualize the efficacy of each trial and to easily share them at grower meetings to increase the impact of the learnings from these researched findings. 

Figure 4: When you click on a plot in FluroSense, you automatically get a plot benchmarking trials throughout the crop season with scientific vegetative indices focused on biomass, chlorophyll, and canopy nitrogen content.

You can use the insights from benchmarking to provide your growers with operational recommendations that are personalized for their location, boosting their future ROI. 

You can also help your growers understand the reasons behind the difference in crop performance of individual fields. Using FluroSat reports, you can easily look back on growth patterns, occurrences of stress and evaluate remedial measures. You would be in a position to suggest proactive measures for the next season, even before it begins.

Continuous data collection and analysis provided by FluroSat can help you improve the growers’ crops and the efficiency of their operation on a regular basis. Improving your grower’s ROI is the focus of our decision support tools because we know that this will make you and your growers more competitive and resilient in the long run.

If you are a manager at a farmer’s cooperatives or an ag retailer, find out how you can overcome the current challenges and improve growers’ ROI. Consider using FluroSat’s crop analytics package for a digital farming solution customized for ag retailers and cooperatives. Get in touch to access your FREE report and learn more.

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