VRA Seeding Primed For Growth

There’s little debate among precision ag industry watchers that variable-rate application (VRA) seeding is one of the hottest areas around at the moment. In fact, in PrecisionAg magazine’s annual Tech Top 5 rankings for 2014, VRA seeding finished second behind unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in terms of industry buzz.

“In my area, some growers are using VRA seeding to better utilize their seed investment, just like they’ve done with VRA fertilizer,” says Jeremy Wilson, technology specialist for Crop IMS, Effingham, IL. “The ability to optimize a grower’s investment in seed is the key factor driving growth in this process today.”

Brent Wiesenburger, precision ag manager for South Dakota Wheat Growers (SDWG), Aberdeen, SD, agrees with Wilson’s assessment, adding that increasing simplicity of use is helping the adoption rate. “Our VRA seeding has grown to more than 60% of our variable-applied acres, and making it simple is part of the equation,” says Wiesenburger. “If a grower can get a turnkey solution that works when it needs to, without making 10 different calls to his ‘go-to’ guys to get it running, that is a win-win for the precision ag industry in general.”

Technology Improvements

In all cases, say industry insiders, the increasing list of products, both software- and hardware-oriented, is helping move VRA seeding’s adoption needle forward. For instance, says Crop IMS’ Wilson, new software that creates VRA seeding recommendations are beginning to take off.

“Most of this kind of software could create these types of maps in the past, but more development has been completed to add more layers of data in the recommendation creation process,” he says. “Growers are wanting to use more layers of data to create these recommendations today, and now several software packages have the ability to complete this task.”

Of course, adds Wilson, hardware upgrades in 2015 should also increase the usage of VRA seeding. This will include an option for more options, so to speak. “Dual hybrid planters will likely be the biggest new technology to expand the use of VRA seeding,” he says. “One of the limiting factors today is choosing the right hybrid for the variable populations. When a grower can choose one hybrid for high population and another hybrid for lower population, the grower has less concern with hybrids being planted at the wrong population for each hybrid.”

SDWG’s Wiesenburger also foresees big things for dual hybrid planters during the upcoming 2015 season. “The big thing I am seeing in South Dakota is an interest in multi-hybrid planters,” he says. “We have been doing a lot with air seeders and soybeans over the years. Now, the producer that is not happy with his bean stands from those seeders can get the placement advantage he wants from a multi-hybrid planter.”

Put together, all these factors should help VRA seeding expand its market presence during 2015, especially with profit margins getting squeezed as commodity prices have declined. “Now with the ag economy the way it is, we need to be efficient as possible,” says Tim Norris, manager for Ag Info Tech, LLC, Gambier, OH. “Most planters today are VRA-equipped, but very few producers are doing prescription seeding with them. Since the equipment is there, I feel this will take off and be adopted by the mainstream during 2015.”

Leave a Reply

Guidance Stories
Case IH - AFS AccuStar and UAV Offering - Magnum MX210 AccuStar Receiver
DronesCase IH Adds New GPS Solution, UAV Package To AFS Offerings
February 21, 2017
Driven by the growing demand for efficient data management, the latest Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) solutions from Case IH help Read More
GuidanceCase IH Launches AccuTurn Automated Headland-Turning Tech
February 15, 2017
New AccuTurn automated headland-turning technology from Case IH takes the guesswork out of turning on headlands, which gives you improved Read More
GuidanceT-L Irrigation Launches GPS Navigation Linear System with RTK
February 1, 2017
T-L Irrigation Co., the exclusive manufacturer of hydrostatically powered pivot irrigation systems, is pleased to announce the availability of its Read More
GuidanceTrimble Launching VerticalPoint RTK for FmX, TMX-2050 Displays
December 19, 2016
Trimble announced today that it has launched a world-first, patent-pending VerticalPoint RTK system for grade control in agriculture. VerticalPoint RTK Read More
Trending Articles
Connected Farm Scout Trimble Agriculture - featured image
Decision Support Software17 Field Scouting Apps For Precision Agriculture
February 6, 2017
There are dozens of easy-to-use mobile apps that are ideal for every day field scouting tasks. From record keeping and Read More
John Deere Dealership
Business ManagementAg Retailer, Equipment Dealer Improve Service By Working Together
January 27, 2017
Some believe that in many aspects of life, timing is everything. Among those believers, please count Randy Bartholomew, Integrated Solutions Read More
Innovation SeriesPrecision To Lead Agriculture In 2017?
January 25, 2017
Another new year is upon us! And I’m certain I speak for many in the agricultural world when I say Read More
Terry Griffin
Business ManagementUsing High Tech To Make Farm Decisions
January 17, 2017
Raj Khosla, professor of precision agriculture at Colorado State University, challenged farmers to think about how far the technology of Read More
PrecisionAg.com featured image
ProfessionalsWelcome to the Newly Enhanced PrecisionAg.com
December 29, 2016
Talk a quick look around our website and we hope you’ll notice it’s significantly different as we head into 2017 Read More
Ryan Raguse and Matthew Grassi
ProfessionalsIndustry Executives Talk New PrecisionAg Professional Brand
December 19, 2016
EFC Systems President and CEO Ernie Chappell Myriad Mobile Cofounder and Chairman Ryan Raguse Read More
Latest News
Professor Simon Blackmore
Ag Tech GlobalUK Professor: Name Change Needed For ‘Precision A…
February 24, 2017
‘Accurate farming’ would be more apt than ‘precision agriculture’ to describe this agricultural practice, says professor Simon Blackmore of Harper Read More
EventsInnovation Series 2017 Quick Thoughts: Gaining Ground
February 23, 2017
If you’ve been following past coverage of our PrecisionAg® Media Innovation Series events, this column is going to sound a Read More
UNL Researchers
ProfessionalsPrecision Agriculture Makes Farming More Sustainable, P…
February 23, 2017
Farmers have numerous sources of technology and data available to use in their operations, but many producers struggle with what Read More
Ag Tech GlobalSciFi in Ag: What do North Dakota, Peru, and Mars Have …
February 23, 2017
In early 2016, I was lucky enough to hike the Salkantay Mountain range in Peru. It’s about a 50 mile Read More
Sentera drone
DronesPrecision Ag Professionals Will Find Advice, Applicatio…
February 22, 2017
The upcoming ASCEND Conference & Expo will deliver practical information about using drones to improve processes in precision agriculture. ASCEND Read More
Case IH - AFS AccuStar and UAV Offering - Magnum MX210 AccuStar Receiver
DronesCase IH Adds New GPS Solution, UAV Package To AFS Offer…
February 21, 2017
Driven by the growing demand for efficient data management, the latest Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) solutions from Case IH help Read More
Mobile Phone in field
Systems ManagementBayer Enters Farm Recommendations Arena With Yara Colla…
February 20, 2017
Crop protection and ag biotech giant Bayer and fertilizer producer Yara International ASA have entered into a software collaboration and Read More
Hort TechGrowingProduce.com: Smart Vineyards Set to Revolutioniz…
February 17, 2017
Phil Asmundson is by no means a veteran viticulturist, but a half-dozen years ago, after watching his wife and business Read More
Soil testing
Data ManagementOpinion: Soil Testing Needs Sensors To Get More Accurat…
February 17, 2017
We are entering a very exciting time in agriculture. With so many great software platforms and data collection tools we Read More
Australian Harvest
Decision Support SoftwareGarden City Co-op Added as MZB Regional Mapping Center;…
February 17, 2017
Garden City Co-op (GCC), through a retailer agreement, has been using MZB Technologies as their precision ag platform for a Read More
DronesLand O’Lakes Drone Challenge Crowdsourcing Compet…
February 17, 2017
Land O’Lakes, Inc. is calling on innovators from the tech industry to enter the Land O’Lakes Prize: Drone Challenge, a Read More
DronesDrone Startup Hits VC Jackpot: Skyward Acquired by Veri…
February 16, 2017
Building on its strategy to drive innovation and adoption for IoT services in high-growth markets, Verizon today announced that it Read More
GuidanceCase IH Launches AccuTurn Automated Headland-Turning Te…
February 15, 2017
New AccuTurn automated headland-turning technology from Case IH takes the guesswork out of turning on headlands, which gives you improved Read More
ProfessionalsDeere Details New Connect Mobile App, C850 Air Cart
February 15, 2017
To help growers monitor, adjust and learn from the performance of their planter or sprayer while it moves through the Read More
drones, UAVs, DJI, Aerial Imagery
DronesNDVI Imagery Under $5K? Sentera Outfitting DJI Phantom …
February 15, 2017
Sentera today announced its ability to convert a DJI Phantom 4 Pro drone into a precision scouting tool that collects Read More
Wheat sunrise
Systems ManagementNew Holland Announces New Product Launches
February 15, 2017
New Holland Agriculture expands its product offering with the introduction of three Precision Land Management technologies, PLM Drone Data Management, Read More
Data ManagementJANZEN LAW BLOG: Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms at Center of…
February 14, 2017
A number of poultry growers have filed suit against Tyson Foods, Perdue Farms, and other poultry integrators alleging that growers’ Read More
Southern States grower in cab
Innovation SeriesPrecision Agriculture: A Place For Everyone At The Tabl…
February 13, 2017
Over the last 30 days, I’ve been immersed in all things precision agriculture. If you received your personal copy of Read More