Reaffirming Variable Rate Nitrogen Application
28 Sep 2220 min 20 sec

Here at XtremeAg we like to point out ideas and products that work so effectively, they become standard practice. Sometimes you need to prove to yourself that your standard operating procedure is still viable. Kelly Garrett and his agronomist Mike Evans did that this year when they varied from their standard practice of applying variable rate nitrogen. The results: A 12 to 15% yield drag. The two explain why they’ll never do flat rate “N” applications again and other lessons.  

Presented by AgXplore

00:00 You know in the old days you didn't have the technology. She just went out there and you put on your fertilizer across the whole field and then we started getting smart. 00:06 I don't know 10 20 years ago technology allowed us through better soil sampling grids and GPS to 00:12 put the right amount of products in the right place where it's most needed to then get maximum yield. Well your Atlanta cattle this year the guys 00:21 got in a hurry and they had a little bit of an equipment problem. So they said you know what we want very well right nitrogen this field. 00:27 We're just gonna go ahead and put it out there at a flat rate across the whole field and the results are what would 00:33 say underwhelming Welcome to extreme mags cutting the curve more than just a podcast. It's the place 00:41 for insights. You can apply immediately to your farm operation for increased success this episode of cutting the curve is brought to you by AG Explorer. 00:51 With Innovative products that improve fertilizer efficiency protect yield and reduce stress. AG explore helps maximize 00:57 field potential find out how AG Explorer can help you get more out of your crop at Ag And now here's your 01:06 host Damian Mason well greetings and welcome to another fantastic episode of Extreme as cutting the curve today. We're talking to Mike Evans with integrated AG 01:15 Solutions and an agronomist for Garrett Landing Cattle and Kelly gear of gear Atlantic cattle and one of the founders of extreme 01:21 Ag and we're talking about reaffirming your standard practices by doing things 01:27 differently. It's kind of an interesting thing reaffirming variable rate nitrogen in this case here Atlantic cattle. You guys 01:33 normally do pretty well and you have this field that had a problem so it's all about that. 01:40 We had a software issue on the tractor. It wouldn't receive the prescription for the variable rate and hydrosrec. 01:47 And because of the price of anhydrous and my desire to get it all on in the fall because I was worried it was gonna be higher in the spring we chose to go in the first field and 01:56 and fix it later because we're waiting on a part or I don't know what you call software I guess but we're waiting on a part to fix it. So rather 02:05 than variable rating it and for us that is 140 pounds of in the high yielding spots 240 pounds of and in the low yielding spots we 02:14 flat rate. It's a lot 140 to then the high the high 40 illness. Yeah high yield is gets 140 pounds of end the 02:23 low yielding areas get 240 pounds of Van, you know, and that's not the only two wrecks. I mean it's variable in between there depending upon the soil and the prescription 02:32 might right varies between 140 and 240. Okay. There's a right just don't need it because your soil is good. You got organic matter and everything just works out. It's the best. It's the best. It's the best 02:41 Ground God could give you and you put on 140 pounds and then the bad stuff you're putting on 100 pounds more on that 240 pound. 02:47 And then anywhere in between that based on where you are in the field exactly. Okay, so we 02:53 flat rated it at 185. Seems to make sense. Let's go somewhere in the middle and just put it out there and the result was. 03:01 Bad, okay, how bad Mike a Evans? How was is he being a farmer? Because remember it's always too wet. It's too dry. It's too it's too windy. It's not windy enough. It's too cold. 03:13 It's too warm. He's a farmer. How bad as you go. Is he making up stuff or is it really that bad? No, it is it. 03:21 You can visually see it. I kind of watched the fields, you know here from July on and it's some parts started grading faster and I'm Center going 03:30 what's going on because there's Fields across the road that are looking just fine and you start seeing these spots show up that we normally don't see. 03:37 and we got closer to harvest and I had some time to look back on the records and I pulled up the maps and op Center and I'm like, oh 03:45 you start remembering last fall because it's 10 months ago or one month ago. Yeah, and we straight rated that then I went back to the planning map and looked 03:54 at it and I go that's so you'll know you only spot we start having the conversation like We didn't have enough HD on there and it's finessing early. 04:02 It's dying off early. Okay. So you you made the decision for a couple reasons. First off. You said you like to put nitrogen out in the fall and you did it 04:11 because it's time management Kelly. And also you said price you were convinced that somehow was gonna be cheaper to do it in the fall 04:17 than in the spring that turned out being accurate. Yes, it did the price. We had a lock in for in the fall was a couple 04:25 hundred dollars, maybe a few hundred dollars less than what it was in the spring. I like to put it on in the fall because 04:31 let's face it anhydrous does damage soil biology. But if I put it out in the fall, it gives that biology time to heal and we get a better yield result in 04:40 the spring what I was in a hurry and I wanted to make sure we got it all on because of that price. Yeah. So because of 04:46 price is because if some equipment issues and then also because you you've got some agronomic reasons 04:52 why you want to put knife down. So so waiting till spring wasn't an option and your opinion. So you said that straight rated and then Evans 05:01 Did you wonder at the time hey, this will probably work out fine, or did you say I bet you this ends up costing us and yields? 05:08 Well, it's no wanted to do so how we run, you know run farming operation. But sometimes you you know, my thought processes I was 05:17 like, we got around 5,000 acres and hydros, and we're starting in Middle late October weather sets in middle of November and shuts us down. We're losing, you know, 05:26 we want to get going and get get on as much as we can in the fall. So yeah time was concerned to 05:32 me and I was willing to sacrifice probably not anymore. You know, we'll put a different tractor do something different next time this comes around but it was 05:41 just one of those things they taught me an advertising class way back in like my college days that a bulk of advertising dollars are spent 05:50 convincing people that have already been customers that they should stay customers. In other words to prevent them from having post purchase distance. 05:56 In other words reaffirming to them you made the right decision when you bought the Mazda Miata or whatever, that should be 06:03 Are we now reaffirming in our minds that what we did was right because of the data are we just convinced? Ah, I mean, was there any other problem are you just 06:12 convincing yourself? This was because of no reading or is there some other reason are you be honest here Mike Evans your less emotional. 06:18 You're kind of spot. Okay, you're kind of the Mr. Spock and he's the James T Kirk around there. So it's really unemotional one. Are you are you 06:27 looking at it really with the numbers are you just convinced that that field was because of straight rate. In other words. Are you just convincing yourself? It's because of the straight 06:36 rate or is there is that is there some of the reason Nice and totally lines up. I mean you can look at the maps. We'll have them for the 06:46 podcast here, but it's to the line and I think he was around the count by any called me one night. He goes it's going from what was it going from like, you know, High yielding 06:55 area the corner still get up over 300 and you get down to a low yielding area and it's 110-13 things like that and the visual difference of 07:04 the plants. Okay, and I'm like this is there's I said what there's something in this spot right here, you know where he was saying that was we're usually shooting for like 161 70 07:14 area. So that's what we would expect. You know, what the drought and everything would be a little less than that, but we're surely more inspected what he was seeing it. Okay. I just 07:23 made the corn yield more variable. So I wanted to bring it up. Is there some other possible reason, you know, we can't always say, you know 07:29 correlation causation all that. So you're absolutely convinced. It was the nitrogen lack of nitrogen in the because you 07:35 didn't have the variable rate. So if that was the case, I mean I guess what I'm trying to say is like the rest of the fields that 07:43 we did variable rate. Or look completely different it. I I'm convinced and the reason why is you know, we have a fair 07:51 amount of ground in this area in your ground is variable, but it's in this area so you would think it it's similar. Okay, and 07:57 the variable rated fields are evenly green yet. The flat rated fields are green in the high-yielding areas and they're dead in the low yielding areas 08:08 and the fields that are available rated trust me. They've got some low yielding areas in them. But that extra 60 pounds 08:14 of anhydrous that extra 60 pounds of end up that corn alive might my dad told me a long time ago. He said and hi he always liked and 08:23 hydros versus liquid. He said anhydrous will help carry you through a dry year and what better 08:29 way to prove him or what more clear way to prove him. Right and we can see in the comparison between the two Fields, you know, the heels Damien we could stand on the hill and we 08:38 can look at what's the difference, you know how off precipitation you're dry. And then you said before we hit record on this that if you were 30 miles west would be 08:47 even worse. How off are you in precipitation? Are you off by 20% of an all year 70% of five year 08:56 average? We're 30% off your 30% off a five year average so the knives and thing and that point about your dad. And Andrews get you through. It's got me thinking. There's 09:05 somebody listening to this that probably doesn't variable rate and there's probably people still are flat rate, right? There's 09:11 probably some fine operations that are just straight right across the field probably many of them. 09:15 And you're you're advice to them Mr. Evans would be. Definitely look at it. I mean, it's it's paying I mean what we're seeing and why 09:27 not When I'd be more efficient with your dollar, especially when nitrogen is going so high, you know, the reason that we chose the flat 09:35 rate at 185 is because the prescription he wrote said the field would average 185 185 pounds for per acre for that field. So 09:44 that's the reason we chose that flat rate. But instead of managing by the field, we're trying to manage by the square foot with the variable rate. It 09:53 takes a little bit more time. There's a little expense in the software and things like that. But at the 09:59 end of the day when we're talking a perceives 30 bushel advantage that that's the reason that that pays that's the reason intensive management 10:08 pays. That's what extreme mag is all about. We're seeing the ROI right here, you know, you know, we really like 10:14 you said we reaffirmed why we do what we do on the other thing as I we always talk about the land. Well, hi any scene 28300 in those good areas. We 10:23 over applied in those areas. And we might be seeing the old drag there though, you know, everybody's like well 2:30 20 to 8300 is 10:32 like wow, that's amazing. Well. We might have put too much nitrogen on there and slowed it down, too. So there's 10:39 Both sides of the spectrum. We're yeah, no in other words because the person that's listening this place. Well, I don't know if I am gonna 10:45 do all this variable rate thing. I'll just put more nitrogen out across the I'll still straight but I'll put out a whole bunch and your 10:51 answer to them would be what you just said that you yes, that is a mistake. 10:56 With what we have learned is that we need to balance our soil. Yeah, and you know, for instance we want our phosphorus to be 10 times our same. Okay. 11:05 Well our carbon to nitrogen ratio is also very important and what the two of us have learned this summer and really are starting to dial in on it 11:14 is that the Carbonite nitrogen ratio is important and that our soil in our high yielding areas is releasing so much Elemental nitrogen that we're 11:23 out running that carbon. So what he's talking is that that extra 45 pounds the difference from one eighty five to one forty that 11:32 extra 45 pounds. I know this is going to be hard to wrap your head around that's potentially a yield limiting factor for the top end and next year. 11:41 I would tell you we got to do some more analyzing. I'll tell you that. I think I now want to leave the poor yielding ground at 2:40 probably because 11:50 I could see it but the high yielding ground it'll probably go lower than 140. It might go clear down to 80 I might 11:56 Go down to 80 which is how many the holy the Holy Grail of farming is Raising corn and the Holy Grail of raising corn is put more nitrogen out there. That's why I was gonna say especially when 12:05 it was cheap, you know, the person listening is like I'm gonna flew around with all that variable rate stuff. I don't have time to 12:11 fool, you know, people tell themselves a lot of things in their head and the answer and especially when we had cheap fertility would be just throw 12:17 more at it throw more at it and you obviously pointing out Mr. Evans. You're the agronomist here the agronomic 12:23 brain as well as the Mr. Spock of the Enterprise known as Garland cattle see Enterprise how I did that USA? Yeah, really? 12:34 When do we get to where there's that balance of you? You maybe you were putting too much on some areas and you were harming 12:43 it but then you keep backing it down. It's kind of a delicate balance right when there's too much too little. Yeah, that's very 12:49 delicate in. You know, we've done some sampling and testing this summer to kind of validate why we're gonna drop it because we pulled some soil on these are yielding 12:58 areas. And and we're getting their estimations out of these Labs is three to four pounds of end release. 13:07 Of our these good union areas. And so that's got us thinking like why don't pull back. I mean the soil is creating so much for us. Let's let's 13:15 use it. You know we go in these higher yielding area or lower even areas, excuse me, and there's 20 to 30 pounds of release just because the soil biology is 13:24 not there the carb and the whole thing. So you all right nice and is they're gonna be a standard practice 13:33 period And if you you had a software problem, so if you're faced with that again this fall, what's the answer wait until the equipments that 13:42 right wait until your software is fixed. Or could you know we'll probably have because of the price and the markets Board of Trade for potentially going 13:50 to have more corn Acres next year than we did this year and I would say the answer is to have a second a second anhydrous more 13:56 and have two two outfits going instead of one. Then you can afford to wait because you're what you're doubling your window. Yeah, we'll be ought to be right we'll be 14:05 ahead of it too. Now. We know it can be an issue. We'll probably have our local John Deere dealer out there a little bit helping us with that beforehand. So and if you got 14:14 for the same three of the same tractors now, so if one goes down it ain't working. We're gonna swap those cookies we can yeah, I like it. So the person is listening. This is okay. How 14:23 do I do this work around and and even if they if they don't have three tractors then they just you say wait and get 14:29 it right because you all right. You need to pay off you you'll drag on this ended up being about how 14:35 bad across the whole across the whole thing 30 30 bushels. Yep, and so on a 210 if you do 210 mixed average 14:44 obvious, you're talking about a 15% almost, you know, 12 to 15 years you'll drag and there's been plenty of years when that would have been your margin and you've 14:54 been happy to have that margin. Okay if I can make a About that if you think about if you take it across if a guy has a thousand acres of corn and and 15:05 variable rate really doesn't cost you any more money again. We put on 185 is what we're gonna average there is there 15:13 isn't really a cost here. It's just it's a management style or a practice Damian and let what if you can improve your yields 12% from just that's all that 15:22 money. It's all we're not saying put on more end. Yeah, right, you're putting on the same amount of product and you're right you're 15:29 already in that damn field doing the work. So it's kind of like work smart versus work hard. You're already doing this. You're 15:35 oh, yes anhydrous, you're already in that field. Why wouldn't you then variable rate it and just do that little bit of work on that because the yield 15:44 is pronounced if it's 12 to 15% more again. I've been plenty of times throughout the history that that's a difference between break even acre and 15:53 a pretty profitable Laker, you know at six bucks. Yes. Absolutely. I mean you we're gonna add 12% to your yield and it's all that that's what we're 16:02 suggesting now, please I hope that that doesn't turn somebody away because they think that's too bold of a statement. But those 16:08 are the things that we're trying to do and what we're seeing here is very much that I mean, I there's more that goes 16:14 into it than that, but that's what variable rate technology does for us. So Mike Evans, I'm talking to 16:20 you, you know, you go to the farm progress show or come out of 16:23 Isaac and Kelly and I have made this joke over beers before you walk down the aisle and every product every every company is selling 16:29 a product will tell you about three to five bushels about three to five bushels whatever and it's like by the time 16:35 I get that into that aisle, I've walked by I walked by 25 boosts take that times five bushels. Oh, I don't need to go out there and plant it because I just but the reality is we're not 16:44 even talking about a product and extreme egg trial a lot of products. We work with a lot of partner companies. This is not a product specific thing. It's 16:53 just variable rate it and you'll get 12 to 15% more. Is that all the proof you need evidence or is there anything else on the way out the door here? 17:03 No, it really is. I mean, it's management change. You just got to kind of just jump in be first. Really. 17:09 I mean everybody gets a little leery about but railroading their nitrogen and everything try to try a field. I mean find find somebody that 17:18 help you do it. I can help anybody though wants to learn but you got to try it. I've been around very in for 15 years. 17:28 All right. So is your job there Mr. Spock to be the the guy that keeps the agronomic the you know 17:36 The spaceship flying. Is there going to be an issue next year where you flat rate it versus variable rate meaning. Do you have any corrections to make this fall 17:45 based on last fall variable rate versus rate? Just I don't understand what yours you need to do any amendments this year on that field that you straight rated 17:56 that you wouldn't have to have done. Oh. I know no not really because yeah, I just 18:05 already used up. Anyways, yeah. Yeah, right. Yeah, we don't have to count for I see what you're saying. We don't have to count for anything. No because little 18:13 Because if those fields are going back to being so they'll be fine. You know, if we were going corn on corn we might think 18:19 about it a little bit but yeah, there should be an issue there. I would say the amendment that will be made is that we're gonna change our program instead of the 140 to 18:28 240. It'll be potentially 80 to 240. Yeah that you're gonna probably siphon it down on your high performing Acres. Could you probably 18:37 overlying nitrogen and again, that was always what people were guilty of because like you said the Holy Grail farming is corn only real corn is more hydrogen. And 18:46 so it made sense and you think you're you think you're just unnecessarily spending the money on the takers, you know, you're doing you damage. We think that we're unnecessarily spending the money and we think 18:56 that there is a good chance. That we are doing a little yield damage on the very top end because that rate that carbon nitrogen ratio is 19:04 out of whack either need to put a there's two two ways to solve it put on more carbon to bring it into balance or lower the nitrogen. Well, it's much less expensive to 19:13 lower the nitrogen than to try to go add more carbon, right? That's an obvious choice. Got it. 19:20 Mike I said, you're gonna get last word, but you knew you wouldn't get last word with Kelly Garrett sitting next to you know, 19:25 Up all the time all the time. Hey, I want to remind you dear listeners that we've got so much great stuff on the extreme AG platform go and check it out. I mean we've recorded 19:34 over a hundred more than a hundred of these podcasts not to mention all the videos that we've done at places like Farm progress show 19:40 commodity classic and at all the guys Farms so go check that out share with somebody can benefit from it. Thanks for being here. Kelly and Mike. 19:47 Thank you. Till next time I'm Damian mace. Thanks for listening to another edition of cutting the curve for more information that you can apply to your farm 19:58 operation. Visit extreme mag dot Farm are your crop stressed out AG Explorer has you covered with a full line of products to help protect your crop from 20:07 environmental stressors such as cold and wet or heat and drought check out acne and start protecting your yields and profits.

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