Precision agriculture equipment and business tools are ways ag leaders are looking to help farmers determine what conservation practices to use on their farms, reports Phyllis Coulter, Iowa Farmer Today.
Precision agriculture equipment and business tools are ways ag leaders are looking to help farmers determine what conservation practices to use on their farms.
In Illinois, the Illinois Corn Growers Association (ICGA) is leading the Precision Conservation Management project with 30 partners.
“We are trying to get farmers to define sustainability,” said Jeff Jarobe, a corn and soybean farmer in Loda in Eastern Illinois.
Farmers participating in the project will use Farm Business Farm Management tools and the Field to Market Fieldprint Calculator in determining which practices to use, said Jarobe, the ICGA president who farms in Iroquois County.
The Fieldprint calculator is complicated and time-consuming to use initially, he said, but with project assistance, more farmers will be able to work with it.
The tool, which enables farmers to input variables about their field, such as slope, soil characteristics, nutrient and pest management, tillage practices and conservation practices to calculate impact on water quality, is still being improved to make it more effective and easier to use.
“It takes facts and figures and lets farmers know how practices affect their bottom line,” Jarobe said.