Would you treat these soils the same? You will probably answer no to that question, but if you are not applying variable-rate technology (VRT) on your farm, you ARE treating those soils the same. These soils came from a field with relatively flat topography and did not show a large amount of variability to the naked eye. The objective of variable-rate technology is to better distribute and customize inputs to maximize productivity.
Why Is VRT Important?
A large amount of soil on the Prairies has more than enough variability to warrant investing in variable-rate technology. Variable soils will often show variation in plant-available nitrogen (NO3-N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulfur (SO4-S). The most crucial step in achieving success with a variable rate is finding/creating a representative map of the land you wish to variable-rate.
How Does VRT Work?
VR maps will break the field into multiple zones based on things such as topography, elevation, and electrical conductivity. Hilltops, mid-slopes, and depressions will be treated independently from each other. This allows you to pinpoint the strengths, weaknesses, and capabilities of each soil type. Having a detailed map to base soil sampling will give you a much more dependable soil test result. The overall goal of a variable rate fertilizer and seed prescription is to have your crop come in nice and even to reduce complications at harvest due to uneven crop stage.
How Is VRT Used?
Variable-rate maps can be used for multiple applications. Some of these examples include:
- Seed and fertilizer applications with a drill
- Fertilizer applications that are only needed in specific zones (applying Edge to zones with high Kochia populations)
- Fungicide applications in the highest producing zones in the field
SynergyAG works closely with CropPro and SWAT Maps to create top of the line variable-rate maps for our customers. To learn more about VRT on your land, or start utilizing it on your farm, contact your local SynergyAG rep!