SOYL newsletter November 2016
1. Don't miss out on Winter Workshops
SOYL’s popular Winter Workshops are being well received by growers, with over 350 attendees at the five events held so far.
Rob Buckle of East Yorkshire said: "Thank you for the meeting today, very good presentations by your speakers. Really impressed by the new MySOYL pulling all the info together and can see the iSOYLscout as a very useful tool for our agronomist and myself."
The free workshops offer growers the opportunity to learn more about the latest developments, practicalities and benefits of precision crop production, including:
- Latest variable rate nitrogen trials including new approaches and advice
- Real time variable depth cultivations with Topsoil Mapper
- Full results from our harvest 2016 trial programme
- Live demonstrations of MySOYL and iSOYLscout
- Multi layer analysis of precision farming data
- Preview of trials in the ground for harvest 2017
- Options for mapping black-grass in 2017
- Next steps for using yield maps.
Growers will also have chance to talk to the experts about how precision management can benefit their own specific circumstances.
Coffee is served from 9am with presentations starting at 9.30am. Presentations conclude at 12.30pm when a light lunch will be served. BASIS and NRoSO points are available on attendance.
Remaining SOYL winter workshop dates and locations:
2. Getting the most from yield data
While yield data has been collected on many farms for several years, its value often remains unlocked. This is partly because growers have not had access to processes and tools that are powerful in what they can achieve but ultimately straightforward to use, until now; these are both key attributes of the MySOYL system.
Using MySOYL, growers can provide SOYL with their yield data which is uploaded to MySOYL. All of the cleaning, processing and sense checking is carried out on the back catalogue of data. The grower can then use all the yield data layers, which are displayed clearly, to compare performance over time, to create variable yield goals as part of a nutrient programme, to gain insight into other precision farming data and to understand the effect of soil types, nutrient levels and plant establishment. Then decisions can be made with more evidence to hand.
A MySOYL subscription is just £350 per year and as well as yield data, includes valuable features such as nutrient maps and seed rate and fertiliser calculators.
3. Trials show boost for barley with VRN
Growers are now preparing for spring cropping and while traditional variable rate nitrogen won’t be part of the plans, an alternative precision approach can boost barley yields.
When it comes to spring barley, variable rate nitrogen has always been difficult to deliver using satellite imagery due to the early application of N. SOYL’s alternative approach is based on identifying yield performance zones using previous yield maps and soil surveys. Trial results have shown that by identifying areas of high yield potential, N rates can be increased. This gave a yield increase of 0.4 t/ha over a standard N rate while keeping N levels within the threshold required for a malting premium.
Other recent trials results have shown a yield benefit of 0.4 t/ha when applying variable rate PGRs on winter wheat based on satellite imagery of biomass, compared to a uniform application rate. SOYL has also been trialling its patented variable rate cultivation system using conductivity maps as a basis for adjusting cultivation depth. Using telematics, we have seen a fuel saving of 5%.
SOYL has been conducting field based precision farming trials for over 10 years, working with growers to improve yields and input efficiency and challenge existing soil and crop science. For more information about SOYL's extensive research and development programme, visit a Winter Workshop, speak to your local SOYL contact or call 01635 204190.
4. Meet Jonathan Simpson
This month, technical assistant Jonathan Simpson tells us more about his role.
"As a member of the SOYLseed team, my day to day work is quite varied and always busy. I may be processing electro-conductivity data or soil surveys, re-drawing amendments to field boundaries, calculating seed rate drilling requests or helping growers to get the most from their MySOYL account.
I joined the team in April 2014 and although I was already familiar with the GIS (Geographical Information System) software, I had a lot to learn about applying it to agriculture before the busy drilling season. I enjoy these periods now, helping to turn around seed rate files and data in short windows. Each year has different obstacles, for example this year was particularly dry for the majority of the country, which proved problematic for the soil surveyors inspecting the concrete-like soil at the required depths.
Working for SOYL is exciting since as well as striving to provide a high quality service, the business is always looking to the future with its innovations, ensuring our service is both comprehensive and uncomplicated for customers.
Outside of work I enjoy most sports, although my involvement has diminished over the years due to family commitments. It has, however, taught me to modify and make the most of any precious spare time!"