In the October 2016, we officially launched a new online tool called Advantage Acre®
. Advantage Acre provides a simple, intuitive way for farmers to begin integrating their current farm management practices into a digital platform that doesn’t require previous year’s data. Growers can see the benefits of data management immediately. The platform includes three different levels: a free version that allows for field-by-field planning and record keeping; Advantage Acre Plus
, a $399 annual subscription that includes advanced features like Functional Soil Mapping technology and an 11-month weather forecast; and Advantage Acre VR
, at $3 per acre, a variable rate planting recommendation can be created that is unique to a specific product, for a specific field, in that specific year.
Once a field is created under your account using common land units, by importing field boundaries from other platforms, or drawing the boundaries, you can use the soil tab see a variety of soil properties including soil types, soil texture, organic matter percentages, drainage and several others. This platform can also be used for planning for the upcoming season and recording data as the season progresses. Some of these examples include planting date, hybrid, and chemical application date along with applied chemicals, fertilizer applications and tracking of scouting trips. While there is a plethora of uses for Advantage Acre, I would like to focus on a couple that I find incredibly valuable.
Functional Soil Maps, Productivity Index and planting recommendations
With an Advantage Acre Plus subscription, farmers are able to view Functional Soil Maps, a map depicting the soil’s behavior using a proprietary algorithm. You can choose any field in your operation and look at the available water storage in the top five feet, the CEC values, soil textures, elevation and slope and get a good idea of the layout of the ground. Advantage Acre starts with USDA Soil Survey data and, using the proprietary algorithm, will estimate how the soil changes over time and how the soil behaves under different weather conditions based on the field’s unique topography. This process converts a 2-dimensional soil survey map into a 3-dimensional functional soil map, creating a much clearer picture to base management decisions upon. This new map gives a better understanding of the soils and provides better insights to apply to hybrid placement.
Once this functional soil map has been built, Advantage Acre takes all the soil properties and combines them with the long-term weather forecast to create another map called the Productivity Index. The ratings on this map range from 1 – 10 and they are associated with relative soil productivity for the upcoming year. They are NOT an estimation of yield. Once this map is built, farmers can enter their yield goal for each field and enter the LG hybrid they will be planting. Advantage Acre will then produce a planting population recommendation for that specific hybrid. This can be done either using a fixed rate or for variable rate planting. One key element to these recommendations is that each LG Seeds hybrid recommendation will be based upon a yield curve using multiple years of our own hybrid population testing and genetic research.
Advantage Acre also looks at weather differently than other platforms in the industry. We have partnered with WeatherTrends 360â to help predict the weather patterns 11 months in advance. I get a lot of funny looks when I start to talk about predicting the weather months ahead of time. But, I am talking about the basic trend of weather patterns, not the exact temperature or exact amount of rainfall we will get on a specific date. The best way to describe this would be using an example of a field that I have entered into Advantage Acre.
I live in Pella, Iowa, which is in South Central Iowa. In this neck of the woods, most farmers shoot for an April 15th planting date on corn and a May 1st planting date on beans. When I look at the weather timeline in this area, here are some conclusions I am drawing.
- Overall, we are looking a somewhat “normal” year for 2018.It appears to be a fantastic corn and soybean growing season with just a slight hint of being warm and dry.April 1 – August 30 rainfall is predicted to be 2 inches below normal and our GDUs are predicted to be 70 above normal during the same time frame.
- While the month of May is predicted to have normal rainfall, the majority of that rain will come during the second and fourth weeks.Soil conditions always take precedence over calendar date… ALWAYS.Do not “mud things in” during April.However, making sure equipment is ready and being as efficient as possible will pay dividends.The last 20 days of May do not look like optimum weather to get crops planted and emerged.I would not want to be planting corn or beans right before a hard pounding rain the second week of May.Emergence will be one key to high yields this summer.
- When I enter my planting date and LG5618STXRIB as the hybrid, I can expect my corn to tassel near the 5th of July.During the month of June, it is predicted to rain about an inch per week every week leading up to the tassel date.On the back side of that, the water faucet is predicted to turn off for three weeks.While the month of July is predicted to have normal rainfall overall, the vast majority of that is predicted to come at the end of July.I would much rather have my corn tasseling at the beginning of July vs the end of July this season.
- The temperatures in June, July and August look very favorable as well.June is predicted to have zero days where the temperatures reach 90 degrees.July is predicted to have 6 days that reach 90 degrees and they all come in the last half of the month.August is predicted to be similar to this year, with slightly below average GDUs and zero days above 90 degrees.Once again, we look to have a long grain fill period.
- The month of August is predicted to have normal rainfall that is distributed rather evenly throughout the month.This will bode well for pushing up soybean yields.
To summarize the weather conclusions, it looks like we need to really focus on getting the job done right the first time. If we can get our corn and soybeans planted in a timely fashion and get our crops up and out of the ground we will set ourselves up superbly to take advantage of the optimum growing conditions predicted for the rest of the summer. We cannot control the weather, but we can use tools like this to manage our risk and maximize the potential for reward.
Thank you so much for your business with LG Seeds. If you have any questions about these features or any others within Advantage Acre, please do not hesitate to contact your Agronomist or DSM. We would love to help!
Note: The information in this issue is based upon field observations and third party information. Since variations in local conditions may affect the information and suggestions contained in this issue, LG Seeds disclaims legal responsibility therefore. Always read and follow label instructions.
Advantage Acre® is is a registered trademark of AgReliant Genetics, LLC. Weather Trends 360® is a registered trademark of Weather Trends International, Inc. LG Seeds and design are trademarks of SCA Limagrain.
Download a copy of this Technical Bulletin: Tech_363 - Advantage Acre Features