This planting season, more than 150 farmers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota are trialing the first offering from FieldScripts, Monsanto's Integrated Farming Systems (IFS) research platform.
The company reports that with FieldScripts planted on more than 8,300 acres in Illinois, Ground Breakers farmers there are impressed with how FieldScripts revolutionizes variable rate planting.
FieldScripts integrates Monsanto's understanding of hybrid performance with the data farmers provide about their individual fields to identify the best hybrids and provide a variable rate planting prescription for each field. The process is led by FieldScripts Certified Dealers, delivered through the FieldView Plus app on the farmer's iPad, and executed with precision equipment on the planter.
Ground Breakers farmer Mark Sturtevant in Carroll County, Ill., has planted several fields with FieldScripts and is excited about bringing together Monsanto's knowledge of hybrid performance in multiple yield environments with the latest planter technologies.
"If we can harness this technology, we'll be able to increase our yield and profit potential," he said. "We're working to put the right seed, at the right amount, on every acre. FieldScripts is a step in the right direction for the industry."
While many farmers own variable rate planters, there has not been a simple and accurate way to utilize them. Traditionally, variable rate seeding has been based on soil type or normalized yield, but these methods fall short of revealing the true picture of what is happening in the field or providing a means to plant accurately using that information.
FieldScripts allows the farmer to accurately plant a lower seeding rate in lower-yielding areas of the field, and a higher seeding rate at higher yielding areas of the field, maximizing the yield potential of every seed. Monsanto research has shown that FieldScripts delivers a 5-10 bushel per acre yield advantage across the field as a whole, as compared with fields not planted with FieldScripts. In 2014, Monsanto plans to launch FieldScripts that will be delivered to farmers through FieldScripts Certified DEKALB seed dealers.
Many Ground Breakers farmers have been especially pleased by how simple it is to put FieldScripts to work on their farm. "FieldScripts sounds like a complicated system, but it's extremely simple for the farmer to use," said Ground Breakers farmer and dealer Dustin Spears from Lanark, Ill. "Prior to planting, the dealer gathers all of the data and prepares it to be used by the farmer. The data all comes to the farmer's iPad, he pushes a few buttons and he's ready to plant. FieldScripts is much simpler than alternative technology."
As co-owner of Martz-Spears Seed, a FieldScripts Certified DEKALB seed dealer participating along with more than 40 other dealers in the four launch states, Spears also sees the value FieldScripts provides to his dealership.
"FieldScripts allows our dealership to provide better service for our customers. We're no longer just selling seed and service, we're selling a science that we believe will keep farmers coming back for more. Our farmers are always looking for ways to improve their bottom line, and this is a tool that will help them maximize their profit potential and make the most of every acre of their land," said Spears.