What field data is needed? – For each field enrolled in N Balance, MyFarms needs a field boundary, each fertilizer, manure, and cover crop application event, and the field-wide average yield. To enroll in N Practices, we also need the tillage category, N management practices, and tile drainage category. Finally, to enroll in N Economics, MyFarms needs the cost information for each unique product or service. Note that growers can go as far thru our simple, seven step process, as they wish.
How do you use my field boundaries? – We use boundaries to properly categorize each field. For example, MyFarms automatically evaluates the water holding capacity, aridity index, GDD accumulation, and temperature variability of each field boundary. We also use them to filter benchmark reports by distance.
How much time is this going to take? – If you follow a corn-soybean rotation and use roughly the same fertilizer program on your soybean stubble, it will not take long if you take advantage of our sophisticated copy tools, which use satellite imagery to automatically detect the cropping history of each field. If you handle every field differently, it will take a bit longer.
What is the complete list of N management practices you analyze? – Excellent question! Here you go: 1) In-Season Nitrogen, 2) Late-Season Nitrogen, 3) Inhibitors, 4) Slow Release Technology, 5) Dynamic Models, 6) Reduced Tillage, 7) Complex Rotations, 8) Expert N Recs, 9) Primary N Source, 10) Soil Tests, 11) Cover Crops, 12) Variable Rate Nitrogen (on-the-go), 13) Variable Rate Nitrogen (maps), 14) Manure Application, and 15) Manure Incorporation.
Will MyFarms sell my data? – No, not ever. Remember, MyFarms was built by fourth generation corn farmers without raising venture capital, which means we cannot be compelled to ever betray this fundamental promise; we will never sell on-farm data.
How are you able to isolate the effect of farming practices on yield and economic gain? – This one probably merits a doctoral thesis, but here’s the short answer. We all know that weather trumps all when it comes to yield, but if you start by holding the weather and soil water holding capacity constant, across a sufficiently large data pool, you can then evaluate all the practices in the remaining pool to determine which one accounts for the greatest amount of yield variability. You can then split the data pool in two where the first group contains fields that experienced said practice and the other one did not. You can run this method again on the two resulting data pools, until the effect of each practice on yield gain has been isolated.
How does MyFarms determine a farmer’s comparison group? – Actually, this analysis is run at the field-level, rather than the grower-level. Each grower will likely have fields in numerous field groups, based on their water holding capacity and climate, but we make this very easy to explore once you are setup in the application.