According to John Pelham, Anderson’s business consultant, the ability of farm businesses to identify and address loss making areas is key to improving resilience against future threats, such as Brexit.
“Every grower should know where yield occurs, where the costs are and the financial consequences of management decisions. For arable producers, this could be taking an under -performing crop out of the rotation or removing low yielding parts of fields, such as outer headlands, from cropping plans,” he says. “However, being able to measure field performance and understand unit costs are critical; if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it.”.
Yield Performance mapping
Hutchinsons Omnia Precision system allows users to analyse multiple layers of field data – including yield maps – to pin down under performing areas and inform management decisions.
“Generating yield maps is no more than an exercise in data collection; when actually it’s how this data is interpreted in conjunction with all the other factors that can affect yield that’s valuable, and the consistency of that yield over seasons,” explains service leader, Matt Ward. With the Omnia yield performance mapping capability, it’s possible to identify and map areas of fields by categorising them in terms of the consistency of performance, such as consistently poor yield, consistently good yield and so on.” “In this way, management decisions can be made based on this sub-field information; it may be that a higher yielding area of the field has shown up to be potentially inconsistent, so it may not be worth pushing this area – whereas if another area delivers an average yield and is potentially consistent, it could be worth investing in this.”
Being able to link yield performance data with cost of production is key to profitability.
Cost of production mapping
Using Omnia, growers are able to create average cost of production information by crop, market outlet, variety or by field, using known or predicted costs, with known or predicted yields.
“Where growers have variable inputs or yield map data, it makes sense that they want to manage costs and their crops on a more site-specific basis.”
However, the variation in output across a field and the increasing use of variable input applications means that some elements of cost of production may be misleading when done on a field scale, says Mr Ward. “Using the Omnia cost of production mapping, it is possible to generate a quick and easy snapshot of individual site performance based on standard industry costs, but for those that have more detailed cost information this can be easily adopted to show much more precise information, bespoke to the individual farming business.” Used in combination, these Omnia features provide growers and agronomists with a unique and powerful way of addressing variability across the farm business, and eliminating loss making areas, that impact overall farm profitability.