So often we forget about one of the most important things in Precision Ag. Everyone talks about hardware; how much money they can save, how much easier it has made field operations. One of the most powerful tools we have available to us is actually the software. The data that is captured from each pass across the field can serve as very detailed records. Those of you with automatic shutoffs on your planters, you can download the data from the monitor to get planting dates, location of hybrids, productivity, and even field elevations just to name a few. The software allows us to manage the operation from a viewpoint we didn’t have the luxury of seeing just a few years ago.
All this data is a wonderful thing, but it has to be managed to be valuable. There are several different possiblities for this. You can buy a copy of software and spend some time in front of it learning how to run it, or buy a copy of software and hope your wife or children learn how to run it. In either of these cases, I would strongly suggest some professional training. Most software vendors offer training classes, and in the case of SMS from Ag Leader, HTS teaches classes annually as well as offers one on one training, both in person and remotely.
Lets not overlook another option for those of you that don’t want to sit in front of your computer working on this. You can hire a professional to process your data and provide you maps. This is a great solution for those that don’t want to spend the time learning the program and analyzing the data. HTS can also help out here, as we offer several different options, custom tailored to fit your needs.
The bottom line is, we are collecting this data, and there is great value in it. Don’t let technology stand in your way when there are so many different options available to make sure you get the most out of your investment.