10 September 1999

Make most of yield mapping

CONFUSED by all the colours on your combine yield maps? Not convinced you are making the most of your investment? Then support could be at hand through a new on-farm service.

Smart-yields from Hants-based SOYL aims to help farmers get more from yield mapping technology.

"Having talked to 40-50 users before harvest we realised many were not getting the best out of their systems," says technical manager Simon Griffin. Suppliers could advise on set-up, but were less helpful when it came to analysing results. "They are engineers not agronomists, so it comes as no surprise."

Smart-yields offers everything from helping operators set-up and operate their combines correctly, so they produce valid data, to producing agronomy action plans based on the resulting maps. Existing and new yield data can also be e-mailed to SOYL so data errors can be pinpointed and removed. "Bad data leads to bad decisions," Mr Griffin warns.

"Even simple things like changing the scale and colours used on existing maps can make trends easier to spot," he says. Converting yield maps to gross margin maps also aids decision making, showing potential losses and allowing the benefit of correcting those to be quantified.

"We will help growers identify management responses and establish small bout-width trials. The results can then be yield mapped the following year before moving to a larger scale."

The full service costs £395, which includes an initial revue of existing data, a minimum of two half-day consultancy visits with a management plan and action report after each visit. Map interpretation, use of a GPS back-pack system for site specific field investigation, telephone support on mapping software and quarterly technical bulletins are included. &#42