Ohio Farmer Gets Big Value From Precision Program

Ohio grower Michael Scherger (left) with his local Sunrise Co-op agronomy representative Mike Burkholder.
Ohio grower Michael Scherger (left) with his local Sunrise Co-op agronomy representative Mike Burkholder.

Michael Scherger, of Scherger Farms, Inc., began collecting yield data in 2002, when he and his partners first purchased monitors for their corn, soybean and wheat combines. The fifth-generation northwest OH grower initially adopted precision ag to make seeding decisions for the farm’s 5,000 acres, but has embraced it for much, much more during the past 13 years.

“From straight grid sampling, we’ve evolved to making variable rate potash and MAP prescriptions and now variable rate seeding,” says Scherger, who farms with his father Patrick and brothers-in-law Brian Brickner and Nick Kelbley. “Precision farming has definitely decreased our input costs, particularly for seed and fertility.”

Just as importantly, precision ag has helped Scherger expand a sideline tiling business he offers for area growers. “We can take yield maps and show the benefits of tiled ground to potential customers,” he adds. “In addition, we can show cash renters or landlords how tile can improve the productivity of their soils in a big way.”

When corn was $6 a bushel, Scherger showed his landlords they could pay for the tile in a matter of five years. “On our personal ground, we’ve increased productivity from 40 to 80 bushels in a two-year span,” he adds. “Without precision ag technology, this would be hard to prove.”

A Good Team: Sunrise and MapShots

Though Scherger works with Sunrise Co-op to handle his precision ag data, he has used MapShots software in his operation as well. Now that MapShots AgStudio PRO platform is available, Sunrise collects and stores data for Scherger and both can easily access the information online. His agronomy representative, Mike Burkholder, contacts the farm at least once a week during the growing season, but they also view data remotely, whenever necessary.

“I used to collect information and store it for my growers to help me sell seed,” explains Burkholder, who started with Sunrise eight years ago. “But having that information in AgStudio, I’m able to use the multi-aerial views and the analysis tools to work up zones and recommendations that we’d never dreamed of doing before. It’s put my growers about three years ahead of the curve.”

Burkholder works directly with AgStudio on about 20,000 acres of farmland in northern OH. He uses the platform for variable rate seeding, fertility, nitrogen and, soon, micronutrient recommendations. “With AgStudio, our growers don’t have to make decisions while driving the planters or tractors – they can make them in the winter by looking on the computer,” he notes. “We can vary it down to a 30 x 30 foot section. It’s not practical to go much smaller. We figure half a planter is a good grid size.”

Monitoring Data to Cut Costs

Scherger selects soybean varieties by conducting on-farm test plots and monitoring yield data. He generally grows Asgrow, Croplan and NK varieties, cutting seeding costs and maintaining yield goals by following precision ag prescriptions.

“I have AgStudio Select on my iPad so I can share data with my landlords and cash renters,” says Scherger. “My landlords are all very hands-on and know their farms well. They like to be included in production decisions — and the maps help me show them how I’m managing their acreage.”

He also uses AgStudio to fill outmpaperwork for the next Farm Bill. “AgStudio is a lot more farmer-friendly and easy to navigate than our previous platform,” he notes. “Sharing data with Sunrise is a big benefit – we can look at the same data but never leave our own offices. ”

Recently, Scherger visited the State House in Columbus and used his precision ag data to demonstrate to legislators how farmers are helping to combat the Lake Erie algae bloom.

“I used AgStudio to show we have filter strips along our creeks and have taken steps for the last six years to grid our acres and follow phosphorus prescriptions,” he adds. “It really helps us tell our story.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business Management Stories
BASF Maglis Grower Tablet
Business ManagementForecasting Precision Ag: 4 Challenges, Opportunities For 2017
December 7, 2016
Opportunities and challenges. They are the yin and yang of the business world. It could easily be argued that, out Read More
Buhler Versatile HQ cab
BusinessThe State Of Precision Ag In 2016
December 7, 2016
There’s no denying that precision technologies and practices are more vibrant than ever. Elsewhere on this site, you will find Read More
BusinessFarmobile Details New AGCO Distribution Deal
December 6, 2016
Farmobile today announced a strategic partnership with AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. The agreement will allow Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secrets
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
Trending Articles
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To Enhance VRT Programs
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secrets
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Farmers
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
BusinessTrimble Launches New FMIS Platform
November 7, 2016
Trimble announced today that it is consolidating three of its agriculture software products — Connected Farm, Farm Works Software and Read More
Grower Services & SolutionsGrower Groups Encourage Implementation Of AgGateway’s ADAPT For Precision Ag
November 2, 2016
A dozen leading U.S. grower organizations are hailing the collaborative efforts that led to the new AgGateway ADAPT framework for Read More
Latest News
BASF Maglis Grower Tablet
Business ManagementForecasting Precision Ag: 4 Challenges, Opportunities F…
December 7, 2016
Opportunities and challenges. They are the yin and yang of the business world. It could easily be argued that, out Read More
GVM E-Series cab
Ag Tech GlobalGlobalization And Precision Agriculture
December 7, 2016
Globalization has taken on a negative connotation in some circles in the U.S. in recent months. The lightning rod for Read More
Buhler Versatile HQ cab
BusinessThe State Of Precision Ag In 2016
December 7, 2016
There’s no denying that precision technologies and practices are more vibrant than ever. Elsewhere on this site, you will find Read More
BusinessFarmobile Details New AGCO Distribution Deal
December 6, 2016
Farmobile today announced a strategic partnership with AGCO, a worldwide manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. The agreement will allow Read More
Hort TechSol Chip Launches Autonomous, Wireless Solar Tag for Sm…
December 6, 2016
Sol Chip, a provider of Internet of Things (IoT) systems and energy harvesting solutions, today announced the introduction of its Read More
TechnologyAgGateway Announces 2017 Board Of Directors And Leaders…
December 2, 2016
AgGateway has announced its leadership for the coming year, including the directors of its new Strategic Board and Operational Board, Read More
DataSentera Honored With Startup Award Of 2016 By Minnesota…
December 1, 2016
The Minnesota High Tech Association (MHTA) recently recognized Sentera as the 2016 Tekne Startup Award recipient. The MHTA Tekne Awards Read More
AGCO AgControl
TechnologyPrecision Ag Technology: Rate Control For The Times
December 1, 2016
It’s not surprising that the need for more economical, effective application is driving the demand for the latest rate controllers Read More
Farmers Edge Truck
DataFarmers Edge, Trotter Fertilizer Form Partnership To En…
November 29, 2016
Farmers Edge, a global leader in precision agriculture and independent data management solutions, has partnered with Trotter Fertilizer, Nebraska’s foremost Read More
Fall corn
BusinessInsecticide of the Future? Robotic Tanks With Lasers to…
November 22, 2016
*Article Notes: This monthly column takes some crazy sounding ideas and applies them to the field of Ag Tech. The Read More
Topcon X30 Console in cab
Sensors/IoTIoT The Focus Of New Topcon Partnership
November 22, 2016
Topcon Agriculture and SDF plan to enter into a non-exclusive long-term partnership agreement. This latest arrangement of Topcon with a Read More
Kinze 4900 Multi-Hybrid Concept Planter
Business ManagementKinze Fights Deere, Feds To Block Release Of Trade Secr…
November 22, 2016
An antitrust lawsuit intended to block a small-scale deal between agricultural giants John Deere and Monsanto is putting an Iowa Read More
BusinessClimate Corp. Acquires European FMIS Company
November 21, 2016
Today, The Climate Corp., a subsidiary of Monsanto Co., announced the acquisition of VitalFields, a European farm management software company Read More
BusinessFarmobile Releases Mobile Data Visualization Dashboard
November 17, 2016
Farmobile today announced an EFR Dashboard, a real-time dashboard that helps farmers visualize their field data and derive insights to Read More
Southern States
Best PracticesSouthern States: 5 Tips for Variable-Rate Seeding Succe…
November 15, 2016
Success comes from taking advantage of every opportunity you can. One technique used in precision farming, called variable rate seeding, Read More
USDA UAV
Hort TechHigh-Tech Agriculture Continues To Reap Rewards For Far…
November 11, 2016
Just like a smartphone helps users learn, communicate and make important decisions, smart technology — known as precision agriculture — Read More
THRIVE
BusinessCall For Ag Tech Startups: Apply To THRIVE’s Open…
November 10, 2016
THRIVE is looking for high growth ag tech companies with an in-market solution that are positioned to scale. The top 50 Read More
EquipmentJohn Deere Launching New Operations Center Apps, Mappin…
November 10, 2016
In an effort to enhance the functionality, ease-of-use and overall value of John Deere Operations Center to producers, John Deere Read More