Farmers could allocate resources more efficiently, improve seed placement and maximize profits by uploading site-specific information about the soil's ability to supply nutrients into an upgraded smartphone application.
Optimizer 2.0, developed by Advanced Ag Solutions LLC, now allows users to upload GPS soil sampling data, which includes phosphorus, potassium, pH and organic matter. Daryl Starr, president of Advanced Ag Solutions and winner of the Precision Ag 2012 Award of Excellence, said GPS soil sampling is the most commonly used precision ag farming process across the Corn Belt.
"Many farmers already have sampling data, and Optimizer 2.0 helps them leverage it even further," he said. "Other applications use the standard national soil data set, but Optimizer 2.0 projects relevant information that is related to the user's actual management practices. It automatically does this on every soil zone, every evening."
Starr said traditional methods to determine the most limiting factors for crop yield are inadequate.
"If soil becomes saturated with water, nitrogen could leach from the soil and become limiting to yield. Using a standard organic matter value from the basic data for that soil type is limited in predicting yield because it is only an estimate," he said. "Optimizer 2.0 allows growers to load their actual soil data and combine it with radar rain data to get an accurate picture of what's happening. A farmer now has real data to make timely management decisions."