Answer: In my role, I help farmers with a digital farming platform which collects field data during planting and helps with agronomic decisions ultimately aiming to improve crop yields.
It is officially spring! Our goats and chickens are wandering out of the barn to enjoy the sunshine and warming temperatures; we are collecting more eggs from the hen house every day and closely watching the mama goats for signs of labor. Snow boots have been replaced with mud boots as the shoe of choice for the children as they do their best to find every mud puddle in the country.
With the arrival of spring also comes the arrival of my busy season as an Activation Specialist for Bayer Crop Science’s FieldView. As farmers begin preparing for the upcoming planting season, they FieldView team amps up to be there to assist.
I have been busy running compatibility assessments and installing equipment in tractors as well as working on my computer to help farmers update field information like boundaries and names.
FieldView is a digital farming platform that helps producers turn their farm’s data into insights to help them make management decisions. It is an app-based platform that has the ability to collect information directly from the tractor (or sprayer or combine) and then store all of that information on cloud-based servers.
Computer crash with all your planting files? Run you iPad or phone over with a tractor? No problem, it’s all saved on the cloud and accessible from anywhere.
One of my favorite things about working with this service is helping farmers who have never been able to create a hybrid planting map because their equipment didn’t have the technology. With the installation of a few aftermarket pieces and an iPad, I can help them create color coded records of exactly where they planted each seed variety.
In the fall, we overlay a yield map and use FieldView’s reporting features to see exactly how the crop performed by specific field, variety, and soil type. The iPad and app can be used in a grower’s combine in the fall to create a yield map as they harvest the field for instant feedback on the crop’s performance.
Data being stored online not only allows the farmer to access their information on the go, but also allows them to easily share their field information with trusted agronomic partners.
I spent my summers crop-scouting while I was in college, using carbon copy pages to draw an outline of field shapes and waterways and then marking observation locations with a guess. I had no idea which variety I was scouting and seldom knew the planting date.
Technology has revolutionized this process over the past 15 years. The idea of using an iPad and GPS for scouting, with access to a field’s details/history, was something young crop-scout dreams were made of.
This year, at Hartmann Farms, we will be running some trials using FieldView to analyze the results. For example, to run a trial of a specific chemical, I can create two separate regions in the same field, one region with the chemical and one without, and then compare them side by side after harvest to see difference in yield, grain test weight, and moisture.
Being involved in the industry professionally and personally makes the “farming seasons” both extra exciting and extra chaotic but I am definitely looking forward to what the 2021 season brings.
Ashley Hartmann is an Activation Specialist for Bayer Crop Science’s FieldView. She helps farmers with agronomic data. She and her husband, Dan, reside in rural Sycamore with their two young children.