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Source: Elevate

While you may not feel like a superhero, your farmers probably think of you as one. And, like all the famous superheroes, you're equipped with an extraordinary superpower: data.

The data you and your farmers collect is the foundation for profitable decision-making. But, with so much information available, you need to decipher what's helpful and what's just extra noise. Here are a few ways to use data with your growers throughout the season.


Post-harvest is a time of reflection. It's an opportunity to revisit the season to identify what went right and what could have gone better.

Evaluate plan performance

A comprehensive data review is one of the most important things you can do with your growers after harvest. Here are some helpful starting points for managing data and gathering insights to build a plan for the following season.

1. Planting dates - While it may not seem significant, planting dates are critical information for planning. Review your growers' planting dates to help them understand how their decisions may have affected yield potential. For example, did they plant too early into cool, wet soils that set them up for emergence issues? Or, maybe bad weather kept them out of fields too long, and their crops couldn't capitalize on the long growing season they needed to optimize growth potential.

2. Weed control - Review weed control data with your growers. Did they make a timely preemergence application? When did they apply their postemergence herbicides? What herbicides and adjuvants were used? Were they happy with weed control in their fields?

3. Fertility - Skyrocketing fertility prices mean some growers are cutting back on applications, which could be a limiting factor for yield potential. Take a look at your growers' fertilization records to evaluate program effectiveness. Were the applied nutrient amounts based on soil or tissue samples? Did application timing ensure nutrient availability at the crop's peak uptake? What nutrient sources were used? Did growers plan their fertility program to match their yield goals?

4. Crop protection - With commodity prices rebounding, it's a great time to review crop protection plans with your growers. If they've held off on fungicide applications in the past, present them with data that shows the profitability potential based on current corn prices.

5. Yield data - Yield data is obviously one of the most telling pieces of information you can use with growers. It's basically a report card for how well growers managed their crops in season. Compare yield data across fields to evaluate product performance under various field conditions. How did this season's yield compare to historical averages? Could zone planting increase the average on-farm yield potential? Were planting populations optimized? What seed products performed the best and worst?

To read up on the four other critical times of the year when ag retail can use data with growers, read the full blog here

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