SOYL Newsletter January 2016

1. iSOYL receives innovation award nomination

enews Jan16 4A year after its launch, the iSOYL app has been nominated for the 2016 Product of the Year award, hosted by the US magazine Farm Industry News. This annual award identifies the top innovations to enter the agricultural market, ranging from app software to application equipment.

The iSOYL app was designed by SOYL to streamline the variable rate application process, saving growers time, money and effort. It uses a smart cable and adaptor to connect an iPad with all popular spreader, sprayer and drill controllers and transfers information effortlessly and efficiently between field and office. It has been met with great interest in the UK and beyond over the last year and has been praised for its intuitive layout and ease of use.

"As soon as we set it up we had no problem whatsoever. As the person that does the drilling I trust it, it works so well, it’s the norm."- Welford Farms

To find out how iSOYL could help your business, visit or speak to your local SOYL contact or call 01635 204190.

2. Manage thick crops with variable rate PGRs

enews Jan16 2

Acquisition of satellite images has already begun in preparation for the variable rate nitrogen season.Following AHDB research which identified a variation in winter OSR performance after the application of PGRs, SOYL can now use these images to vary the application of plant growth regulators (PGRs) to match crop requirement, as well as to manage nitrogen placement.

The variation was found to be dependent on the size of the canopy; crop at a leaf area index (LAI) of 0.8 or above exhibited a yield response after PGR applications, whereas crops below this LAI threshold experienced yield penalties. PGR applications applied at a single rate across a field could therefore be beneficial to some areas but detrimental to others.

A simple solution to this issue is the variable application of PGR to match the canopy size. Using satellite data collected by the SOYLsense team, variations in crop canopy can be identified and converted into a PGR application plan which applies the full rate to thicker crops and a reduced rate as the crop becomes smaller.

To understand the yield and economic benefits of this approach on farm, SOYL worked with growers to create trials on varying PGR on winter OSR. The graph opposite illustrates the results. Variable applications of PGR on winter OSR created a yield increase of 3.5%, equating to a monetary benefit of £51.60/ha.

For more information and to discuss how you can manage variable canopies this spring, please call 01635 204190

3. Check soil nitrogen indexes after recent weather

enews Jan16 1After the wet, mild conditions of the last few months, mineralisation and leaching will have been higher than usual, with significant effects on the amount of nitrogen available to crops in the spring. Identifying current soil nitrogen indexes across your land is vital if levels are to be corrected to sufficiently meet crop needs.

To identify the soil nitrogen index, SOYL's Deep N service collects 15 soil cores per field which are measured at a depth of 90cm. These are stored and sent to an independent laboratory to analyse for soil mineral nitrogen. This is then combined with an estimate for crop nitrogen to produce a Soil Nitrogen Service (SNS) index figure. This level of analysis enables growers to confidently justify their nitrogen rates to achieve target yields and protein levels while also complying with environmental regulations.

The Deep N service is available until mid March. To find out more and make a booking, please call the SOYL office on 01635 204190 or speak to your local SOYL contact.

4. Meet Shannon Taylor

enews Jan16 3"I joined SOYL's PK mapping team in 2013. It was right in the middle of harvest, so it was a fantastic learning curve; I was surprised by how busy it was but it helped me to understand growers' needs as well as the different SOYL departments. As well as mapping customers’ nutrient data, I quickly became involved with support calls and helping growers with their day to day queries.

I recently made a transition to the logistics team to help them with their busy season. We're responsible for managing all bookings received from area managers and liaising with our field team to complete the work. This includes soil sampling for our nutrient management service and soil scanning for our variable rate seed service, SOYLseed. Poor field conditions after wet weather are a particular challenge at this time of year; we need to make sure we do the job safely and without disrupting land, so we need to be flexible and react quickly to frost cover and dry weather to get fields sampled in good time.

My day to day job consists of booking in lab results, quality checking our systems for any issues with field boundaries, using GIS software to produce Ordnance Survey maps and processing soil sample results to produce nutrient maps.

By working for both the mapping and logistics team, I'm able to see bookings through from start to finish, from organising the sampling requirements to creating the final nutrient maps. It's a busy role which keeps me on my toes, but I also really get to know our customers and their farms. I enjoy building these relationships and it means I can organise future bookings to the customer’s exact requirements too."

Don’t forget you can follow us on Twitter @SOYLprecision for regular updates on soils, nutrients, machinery and GPS.

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