5 Steps to Optimize Your Planting Data

Dan Zook

Mar 19, 2016

Developing best practices for planting preparation, monitor calibration, and saving data is key to getting the most from your precision equipment this planting season. High quality data benefits not only your operation but the entire FBN℠ community.

1. Know Your Planting Timing Targets and Equipment Limits

Using your FBN Analytics, you can:

  • Check daily soil temperatures, air temperature, and rainfall

  • Find your planter’s most efficient planting speed and view your Planting Speed Layer

  • Check your machine’s planting prescription effectiveness with the Prescription Accuracy Map

  • Find optimal planting populations, temperatures, and dates for your varieties and equipment using FBNSeed Finder and Analyze My Operation.

For more info on taking advantage of your planting data utilizing your FBN account, see 5 Things You Need to Know Before Planting.

2. Setup Your Monitor Early with Field and Seed Names

Setup your field and variety labels in your monitor as early as possible to avoid delays, get more accurate planting maps, and collect better data. Setting the full variety name with traits in your planting monitor will enable FBN Analytics to analyze trait performance and resistance issues on your farm.

3. Sync your Machinery and Monitors

Just like your planter, there are components of your precision ag systems that you should check before you get to the field.

  • Start by marrying the tractor and planter and checking the connection between the monitor, GPS sources, and hardware modules on the planter itself.

  • Check that your monitor is working by powering it up and verifying that the touchscreens are responsive. Make sure you have your GPS source in the tractor to verify all the communication from the GPS system to your monitor are working.

  • Make sure all of the hardware modules on the planter are communicating with your monitor. For more information on checking your components, see your operator's manual.

  • Ensure that you’re starting with a clean data card so that you have plenty of memory for this season's data.

4. Calibrate Your Monitor

There are many calibration settings to be done before you start planting.

  • Calibrate radar and GPS and carry-out implement switch calibrations. See your specialist or operator’s manual for more information on your specific equipment.

  • Set liquid calibration with water.

  • Set seed drop calibration with last year’s leftover seed.

Each monitor will be different, so be sure to talk with your local technician or dealer about best practices. Calibrations should be checked and double-checked every year. Learn more about Monitor Calibration in the FBN Knowledge Center. 

5. Save Your Data

Effectively saving your planting data is crucial.

  • Check after your first fields to verify your monitor is mapping correctly. You can load spatial data into FBN at any time, and we’re happy to read and verify the data being captured is mapping well for your fields. Check out How do I upload data? in our Knowledge Center for more information. 

  • Save and backup your data as frequently as possible. Backup your data at least every week to an external drive, computer, or cloud system like Farmers Business Network. Your data can help you save or make thousands of dollars, so it’s well worth it to buy a few USB or compact flash drives.

  • If you use cloud-based services, verify they are capturing data. Log in frequently to make sure each day’s fields have made it to the cloud. If they haven’t, be sure to copy the data on your monitors as if you didn’t have cloud systems. Visit the Cloud Application section of the FBN Knowledge Center for more. 

Dan Zook

Mar 19, 2016

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