Saturday, March 7, 2020
I wrapped up the planting prescriptions for 2020 soybeans. It has been a winter job for many years. Our first experience with this method was with JD Office, John Deere’s initial desktop information management software. We continued prescriptions through versions of JD Apex software, and now cloud-based JD Operations Center.
Creating planting prescriptions is a kinda tedious task, very repetitious. We use soil maps for the underlying information for the prescriptions, assigning a low, average, or high population of the soybean variety being planted to each soil type according to its productive potential.
We required some assistance again this year from the technology advisers from our JD dealer, Hutson, Inc. Agronomist Kaylissa Halter arrived Friday morning to get us back up-to-speed on the changes that had occurred to JD Operations Center and the Agrian prescription-writing program embedded in it. It appeared quite different from previous years, and Kalissa was very helpful to show how to maneuver through the system. We even discovered a glitch in the way Agrian communicates with OpCtr, and Kalissa sent off a special request to JD to cure the problem.
A prescription layer is written for each soybean variety, because the sizes of the seed (seeds/lb) are different for each variety. Because beans are planted by an air drill that does not singulate seeds, the prescription is quantified in pounds per acre. I must calculate an appropriate rate beginning with the desired population, then converting that seeds/acre number to pounds/acre.
After we bring home the JD 1910-1890 air drill from its storage location, we will transfer this bundle of prescriptions to the JD 9520R tractor. It will then control the seeding rates during planting of soybeans, all adjusting on-the-go, with great accuracy, matching seed populations to the soil. To see how the drill works, click here.
We have asked many John Deere engineers to add a feature into the air cart controls that would allow us to enter seeds/pound so that the machine would make the conversion internally, and we could write the prescriptions in seeds/acre, and observe the real-time planting operation in seeds/acre. Alas, that is not yet available.
Also finished today are the nitrogen prescriptions for the application of anhydrous ammonia– our corn crop’s important source of nitrogen. Those will be transferred to the JD 9520R tractor and will control the application of nitrogen applied by the JD 2510H.
It is a happy thing to have this task completed. One more step on the road to #plant20.