Learning about Precision Ag from the Ground Up

Bryan Smith - Agronomist - Jenkins Farm Partnership - Bowling Green, KyBryan Smith, Agronomist, Jenkins Farm Partnership, Bowling Green, Ky

Fresh out of college with a degree in agronomy from Western Kentucky University, Bryan Smith is moving full-steam ahead toward a career in precision agriculture.

“I graduated in December and started working with Jenkins Farm Partnership in January,” says Smith, who grew up on a small horse farm in central Kentucky. “My title is agronomist but I’m pretty much a Jack of all Trades. I’ve done a lot of learning in the past few months.”

His top priority? Getting the farm on course for precision ag inputs, record keeping and yield mapping. Jenkins Farm Partnership encompasses 10,000 acres of corn, soybeans, wheat and canola near Bowling Green, Ky. Owner Bill Jenkins wanted the entire acreage grid-mapped in preparation to make precision farming prescriptions for inputs such as variable rate seeding, fertility and pesticide applications.

Selecting a precision ag software platform became Smith’s first mission accomplished. He researched companies and decided on MapShots AgStudio® services. “I had heard nothing but good things about MapShots, especially their customer service,” notes Smith. “Since adopting their technology, I’ve found it to be true.”

Getting Up to Speed on AgStudio

Smith opted for AgStudio PRO because his employers hope to offer the service to other area farmers, once they become proficient with it.

A fifth-generation agronomic data management software application, AgStudio PRO provides a high degree of task automation and simplifies working with large volumes of data. The platform offers an extremely flexible and customizable service to fit many different needs.

Once he had AgStudio PRO up and running, Smith used AgStudio MAP on his iPad for easier grid sampling. With the application, he could select parameters and settings, map field boundaries using GPS, record soil sample points and transmit completed sampling to his AgStudio database without a wireless connection in the field.

Another valuable feature of AgStudio is MapShots’ AgDirector. Specifically designed to handle GPS field operations data, AgDirector simplifies and automates processes for seamless data flow. “I took harvest data off the combine monitor, put it on a thumb drive and uploaded it to AgDirector on my computer,” explains Smith, who worked with Jenkins on a part-time basis during college. “I was able to link it to all of our farms and now have yield maps that match up with our grid maps.”

Since his boss already had two years’ worth of yield data, Smith had a leg-up in that area. “In another year we’ll have enough data to show variation and will begin using the information to make variable rate seeding recommendations,” he adds.

Smith adds that he hasn’t learned the AgStudio technology on his own; he’s contacted MapShots customer support on a regular basis. “They have been extremely helpful,” he notes. “I like AgStudio because there are so many things you can do with it — you can get so many different components working together. We’ve barely scratched the surface of all we can do. It’s really cool!”

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