Decision Ag Offers a Powerful Suite of Planning Tools

Apr 12, 2023

Knowing what to do and when to do it in your farming operation is challenging. It becomes even harder to manage when it is your crop. I say this because many variables and influences can affect that decision or outcome. For example, how or when do we treat corn rootworms? Many make decisions based on their past experiences. Did my field have an issue with corn rootworms over the last few years? Some may approach this issue with how much risk they’re willing to assume. What happens if I don’t apply an insecticide or plant a rootworm-trait hybrid? Or the decision may come down to how likely you are to have a problem with this pest. 

Is this field of corn going into soybean stubble, or is it a continuous corn rotation? You could go on and on listing all the variables that go into making this decision. Most of these variables center around historical information or past outcomes. Unfortunately, we often handle the problem after the fact, or occasionally we may be making decisions as a precaution. 

What if we could change this narrative and collect a value showing our potential risk? That is what we are trying to do with SoilDNA.

SoilDNA is a unique soil analysis that examines the DNA profile of a sample. This DNA profile can measure the pressure and abundance of organisms being expressed. This information is used to discover threats to yield predictively. 

The key to this is that it is predictive. With SoilDNA we can now understand the level of risk we face. It adds more science to all those questions we still ask ourselves when deciding what to do or when to do it. Returning to the earlier example of treating corn rootworms, we can now make a more informed decision. Let’s say that you ran the SoilDNA program on your field, and the results show a high-pressure corn rootworm egg count. Suddenly it makes the decision for treatment a lot easier knowing what amount of pressure you will face for the next year instead of relying on a calculated guess. Maybe the results show the force of corn rootworms to be low or moderate for the upcoming year. What strategies can you implement to keep those values in check? This new knowledge adds another layer of information to help you make the best decisions for your operation.

The best part is that it doesn’t just look at corn rootworms. You can see from figure 1 that the list of analyses looks at some of the most significant impacts on corn and soybean production. While it doesn’t cover or detect everything against the crop, it is a beginning step that will continually evolve as the technology develops. Doesn’t it make you want to check your fields to see what pressures your crop might face? 

Your fields are talking, and it is time we start listening. For more information, please contact your Decision Ag Specialist to discuss how SoilDNA can help make decisions in your operation.

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Nov 28, 2023
Register to Attend the 2024 Ag Outlook Event!
River Valley Cooperative invites agronomy and grain customers to attend the 2024 Ag Outlook Meeting at Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, Iowa. Business partners and spouses are also invited to register to attend.
Nov 09, 2023

Agronomy and grain customers of River Valley Cooperative are invited to an evening of agricultural insights and entertainment hosted by River Valley Cooperative and our valued sponsors at Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, Iowa. Join us as we delve into the ever evolving landscape of grain, energy, fertilizer, and crop protection trends. 

Following the engaging session, we invite you to enjoy dinner, refreshments, and cheer for your team as we screen the Iowa/Iowa State basketball game. Please save the date and register to attend a memorable evening.

Oct 10, 2023
With cold weather fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about your winter diesel fuel needs. At River Valley Cooperative, we believe incorporating Cold Flow Improver (CFI) and #1 diesel into your fuel when ambient air temperatures approach 40° F is appropriate to ensure cold weather protection.