Already this spring a tool to help farmers monitor nitrogen levels is being put to good use in Indiana. Jeff Hinen is a Field Research Agronomist covering Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and eastward for Climate Corporation. But Hinen is also a farmer near Ft. Wayne, and this year the product he researches, Climate Pro’s Nitrogen Advisor, has given him valuable field insights.
“After the rains we saw here in April I was able to track through that Climate Pro app and see what was happening to that nitrogen in the field,” he said. “It showed me that I was losing a fair amount of nitrogen based on simply the rainfall that I was receiving.”
Now Nitrogen Advisor will help him determine what level of nitrogen he needs for his planned sidedress application. In a year when rainfall has not been typical, Nitrogen Advisor has provided the evidence of N loss right on the screen.
“In a year where I would say we had typical early spring rainfall I don’t think I would have seen what I was seeing on the screen with the Nitrogen Advisor, so I made applications very early and you know what the weather in Indiana has been this April. We’ve had a fair amount of rain here in northeast Indiana and I can see the impact of that water on the screen for these fields where I made those early nitrogen applications. And I believe I’ve lost more nitrogen through leeching than I would in a normal year.”
The app’s Field Health Advisor will also assist with scouting fields for pests this year.
“If I could fly over my fields every couple of weeks and take a look from an airplane and see what they look like and have an indication of which fields may need my attention and which ones may not, that’s what you’re going to get from the Field Health Advisor.”
Reacting quickly to the text alerts about field conditions could mean the difference between yield loss from a pest attack and making the proper decisions and saving that yield.
“Correct,” he told HAT. “That is the absolute goal, right?”
Nitrogen Advisor and Field Health Advisor are two features in the Climate Pro package. Climate Corporation also offers a free app called Climate Basic for those who want to get a feel for the basic weather data the company can deliver.
Learn more in the full HAT interview:Jeff Hinen-Climate