SOYL Newsletter November 2014
1. Vari rate applications made easy with new iSOYL app
Growers can now manage precision farming tasks direct from the tractor cab with the first variable rate application system to run on a tablet.
Simple to use, iSOYL will streamline the precision crop production process, saving time, money and effort. It can be used for all variable rate methods including P&K and nitrogen application and variable rate seed. iSOYL is compatible with all popular spreader, sprayer and drill controllers and works on iPad, iPad Mini and iPad Air.
Key features include:
Automatic transfer of data from the field to the grower's data management system, eliminating the need to manually write and transfer notes
A clear, intuitive layout on a large screen, making it easier to use in the cab
The ability to drop markers to record points of interest, such as weed populations or crop variation
Being able to use the app on an existing iPad, thus keeping costs to a minimum
Touch screen interaction.
Simon Parrington, SOYL’s commercial director, says, “We are always looking for ways to make precision crop production as simple as possible, and this is a really exciting development. It is the next generation of precision technology and will enable more growers to use variable rate techniques on their farms.”
2. SOYL Winter Workshops 2014-15
SOYL's Winter Workshops offer growers the opportunity to meet with other growers and experts to discuss the latest developments in precision crop production. The agenda for this season's events includes:
Using field data analysis to improve your business performance
Improving soil health with organic matter testing and cover cropping
Managing the challenge of PK variation with effective crop nutrition
Investigating per plant agronomy using aerial mapping
New solutions for current issues including variable rate PGRs and cultivations
Managing variable rate applications with new app iSOYL.
BASIS and NRoSO points are available for attendees.
The events started this week and run until February at 19 locations across England and Scotland. December's workshops will be held in:
Wetherby - 2nd Dec
Lincoln - 3rd Dec
Steventon - 9th Dec
Maidstone - 10th Dec
Stafford - 16th Dec
3. Benefits of SOYLsense demonstrated for eighth consecutive season
In an eighth season of variable rate trials, the yield benefits of SOYLsense, SOYL’s variable rate nitrogen service, have once again been confirmed. The results were obtained as part of an extensive programme to test the benefits of SOYLsense against a farmer’s normal flat rate application.
Implemented by SOYL's research and development team in the spring of 2014, the effects of variable rate nitrogen on a number of factors were examined, including yield, protein, sulphur levels and tillering. Results in winter wheat indicated:
Precision crop production trials require a different approach to traditional trials of fertiliser or seed rates as the benefit of managing variation at field scale needs to be tested and this cannot be achieved with small plots. Over the last few years, SOYL has developed an innovative technique that combines elements of replication to give statistical validity at field scale. This field map (right) shows how we use flat rate and variable rate treatment strips across our trial field.
An added benefit is that the trial plans can be programmed into the growers’ GPS kit. This allows a larger number of trials to be executed over a wide range of soil types and farm management scenarios. This increased level of trials means there are thousands of comparison points at which variable treatment can be compared with farmers' normal practice. This adds a high level of confidence in the results because of the increased size of the dataset generated.
To find out more about variable rate nitrogen, please speak to your local contact or call the SOYL office on 01635 204190.
4. Deep core N
What is deep core N?
Deep core N enables more accurate fertiliser applications by providing an accurate picture of soil mineral nitrogen (SMN) levels. The measurements are taken at three profile depths, up to 90cms down, to check the nutrient content along the full root depth of the crop.
Why three depths?
This gives a soil nitrogen supply (SNS) index based on an actual figure rather than model predictions without samples, meaning applications can be adjusted to provide precisely what is needed; no more, no less.
How does this help if I am in an NVZ or have other environmental issues?
It helps to demonstrate that you are taking into account what is available to the crop at the time of application. If nitrogen levels are high you can reduce your inputs, therefore only applying the specific requirements of the crop.
Will it help to reduce lodging on manured ground?
Yes. It will give the available nitrogen at the time of sampling so if high nitrogen levels are found, the application rates can be reduced accordingly.
How can I get the best value from the service?
Choose a minimum of 4 fields which ideally represent different soil types, crops and land which have had manures applied. Results are delivered within four working days.
Which areas does the service cover?
From the River Humber to the south coast.
When is the service available?
Sampling is carried out from approximately mid January to mid March dependent on weather conditions.
How do I book?
Speak to your local SOYL contact or call us on 01635 204190.
5 Meet Louis Jenkins
In this new section of the SOYL newsletter, we introduce key members of the SOYL team that growers may have spoken to by telephone but never met.
Louis Jenkins is a member of SOYL's hardware support team. Many of you will have benefited from his expert knowledge of equipment, software, compatibility and development over the years.
"As part of SOYL's support team, I really enjoy exploring the future of precision farming and using the latest agricultural devices, specifically GPS control boxes and software. This helps me to support SOYL customers with their own third party equipment from manufacturers such as John Deere, Amazone and Kuhn.
SOYL strives to be compatible will all hardware and software and it's important for us to maintain a close partnership with agricultural manufacturers to make sure our customers are receiving a first class experience, so I'm often talking to and visiting employees from these third party companies.
I'm also involved in assisting with the development, testing and support of our own precision farming software and hardware, including the SOYL-OPTI, MySOYL and the new iSOYL app which launched this month. Seeing iSOYL on the market as a world first has been an exciting time for the team.
As well as our customers, I also provide technical help for colleagues. This ranges from assisting area managers with technical and compatibility information and supporting our 40 strong team of soil samplers using our own bespoke sampling kit, to creating and testing application files to use in customers' control systems.
Having the chance to speak with growers and work with new emerging technology makes my role diverse, interesting and satisfying; there is always something new to consider for developing customer solutions."
Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter @SOYLprecision for regular updates on soils, nutrients, machinery and GPS.