SOYL Newsletter October 2015
1. Talk to the experts at CropTec
Visit SOYL at stand 67 at this year's CropTec event to learn more about precision crop production.
To be held on 24th and 25th November at the East of England Showground near Peterborough, growers will be able to see demonstrations of iSOYL, the revolutionary app that allows precision crop production tasks to be managed direct from the tractor cab via an iPad, as well as MySOYL, an online tool for managing your whole business in one place with a single logon.
SOYL experts will also be on hand to discuss your thoughts and answer your queries around precision topics such as compatibility, soil science, specific products and how to get started.
For more information visit www.croptecshow.com.
2. App update increases accessibility of precision techniques
iSOYL has been updated to include even more beneficial features to help growers effectively manage their variable rate application tasks.
The latest update to the free app allows growers to use the generic shapefile format to complete variable plans. These files are transferred to and from iSOYL using the well known cloud storage systems Dropbox and OneDrive. This allows growers to easily produce and manage their own files from the farm office.
The as applied data is then returned to the cloud as a text file, recording the product, amount, date and time of applications, making it easy for growers to ensure their records are up to date. This step forward in data management means even more growers can access precision crop production. This is supported by iSOYL's extended compatibility with more application equipment.
Other key features include:
- The ability to drop markers to record points of interest such as weed populations or crop variation
- A clear and intuitive layout on a large screen, making it easier to use in the cab
- Automatic transfer of as applied data into the grower’s data management system
- A dedicated technical team to support and advise growers using the app.
3. Improving crop performance with SOYLsight technology
Having been demonstrated to growers at open days across England and Scotland this summer, the SOYLsight UAV has been busy mapping a number of sites in recent weeks. The specialist images it has taken will be used to monitor crop development and improve future performance in advance of the technology becoming widely available to growers.
Last month, SOYLsight flew over Frontier's new development site at Honingham in Norfolk (shown top right). It was also used to capture data at Kings demonstration sites in Scotland and at the Royal Agricultural University in Gloucestershire; the imagery produced helped the advisory team to plan the crop layout and identify variations within the field for future reference.
SOYL's trials team also use SOYLsight to collect data for investigations into disease management, fungicide efficacy and the use of PGRs. This is made possible by setting flight plans which are repeated throughout the season allowing data to be collected and compared to see how crop response differs between trials plots.
SOYLsight has a range of valuable features which helps growers to identify specific crop performance issues, some even before they become visible to the naked eye. Its different cameras ensure data collection is specific and suits the requirements of the grower. From this data, the problem can be diagnosed and treated alongside a cultural control strategy. Its multispectral camera, for example, shows the exact location of weed patches, as shown bottom right. This information can then be used to create variable rate treatment zones. SOYLsight is also able to look at various crop indices, such as the chlorophyll index which has a very close relationship to the nitrogen value of the plant, and red edge NDVI which can be used to quantify growth stages.
For more information on how SOYLsight could benefit your farm, please speak to your local SOYL contact or call SOYL on 01635 204190.
4. Meet Ollie Wilson
"I joined SOYL in 2012. After university I started my career in agriculture as a soil sampling operative and progressed into an office based role dealing with fertiliser recommendations, data interpolation and the logistics of the business. I'm now part of the recommendations team based in the South East.
We're now deep into autumn so the P and K application season is in full swing. On a day to day basis I produce fertiliser recommendations and variable rate application files for customers from all over the country. I am FACTS qualified and have a keen interest in crop nutrition, so I enjoy what I do. At peak times it can be a pressurised environment to work in and the nature of farming dictates that quick turnarounds are key, but I find it really rewarding knowing that we're enhancing growers' businesses by helping them to be more precise. It’s important to remember that no two farms are the same and our systems are designed so that we can offer a tailored service for everyone. I love being able to find solutions for growers by discussing all angles of their situation with them.
I really value working as part of a team too. Whenever I need advice, there's always someone to bounce ideas around with and this applies across the whole business; we have so many knowledgeable, approachable people that nobody is ever stuck for an answer.
Outside of work I'm a keen cyclist and also take part in triathlons. Some of my best thinking is done on the bike; it gives me a fantastic outlet and helps me to reflect on what has usually been a busy day in the office."
Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter @SOYLprecision for regular updates on soils, nutrients, machinery and GPS.