Pat Christie

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – In an effort to help growers compare and evaluate the economic efficiency of their field practices, Conservis announced the release of Zone Economics during the first week of May. The new tool provides a data lens to show farmers how specific in-field decisions affect their bottom line.

“Conservis helps farmers collect and organize data across all parts of the farm. The primary type of farms we work with are row crop operations, everything from corn and soybean to sugarbeets and potatoes,” said Conservis founder, Pat Christie.

Farmers can often get caught in a guessing game when trying to evaluate what’s most effective economically within their operation. What part of the field is losing money? Which seed rates are most profitable? Was that last spray application really required? With Zone Economics, farmers will now have answers to those questions.

Modern-day agriculture has seen performance evaluations of a farm operation shift away from yield alone, as a high-output fields may not be the most cost-efficient in totality.

“Zone Economics is a way with row crops to take all your application records and understand how much, in terms of dollars, is attached to those applications,” Christie said. “You’ve seen yield maps and they’re awesome. They tell you about performance, but what they don’t tell you is about the underlying costs for each of those zones.

“You could always see what your yields were, but by bringing all these thing together in one place, you can now see what costs are associated with those yields. You can understand what area of your field is performing, what genetics are working and what seed traits may be performing,” he added.

Commodity prices remain volatile, input costs are ever-increasing, and elevated labor rates continue to squeeze profit margins like never before. Because of all these factors, cost-effective production has become the new measure of success, and in order for farmers to make the best business decisions for their operation, it’s critical to have an understanding about how and where money is being spent within a field.

Equipment connection to Climate FieldView and/or John Deere Operations Center is required for use of Zone Economics. The as-applied and yield data then combines with Conservis, bringing growers an in-field economic analysis that paints the full picture. Applying actual activity costs provides growers their costs of production, right down to the square yard.

“We’re integrated into those systems, so when your turn on your tractor and go do your seeding, that information is upload to the cloud where we take it automatically,” Christie explained. “It is then processed and we find out what inventory was used, how much it was used, what field you’re on, time, date, weather – a variety of data points. As you’re using our system you’ll have your costs in there too, so you’ll not only be able to see what was used as far as quantity, but also the costs of that application. Once your yields are factored in, you’ll see where you made money, lost money, where the best profits are and where the lowest profits are.”

Through Zone Economics, farmers can evaluate and measure field and activity performance using side-by-side comparisons. Costs and activities function as stackable layers that can be selected to readily view application and yield analysis, allowing farmers to see everything that happened within a specific field in a single view.

“We’ve had people saying they’ve been waiting for this kind of functionality for 20 years. You always see your yield, so you kind of know what your revenues are, but in today’s margin crunch, knowing what recipe really works and where the profits really come from is very important,” Christie concluded.

For more information on Conservis or Zone Economics, visit them online at www.conservis.ag.

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