Whilst the combines have been rolling, I have been speaking to an increasing number of customers and advisers who are looking to prepare for 2020 harvest crops. A common topic often covered is liming policy and the challenges associated with planning and prioritising applications.
We have previously posted about the benefits of correcting soil pH and the variety of products that are available to help do this but another aspect that many growers need to think about is the time involved. For many, it can be difficult to assess the impact on tonnages and cost of using different liming products for different pH targets when it is considered such a time-consuming process.
Thankfully, SOYL's new Lime Application tool dispels this problem, making it quick and easy to create variable rate lime plans in less than a minute. Available in MySOYL – part of Frontier's farm management platform MyFarm – the tool is available at no additional charge to any SOYL customer with existing pH data.
How does it work?
By simply selecting a crop type (arable or grass), a product and a target pH, you can instantly view your required tonnage and, if you have inputted a price/tonne, you can see the overall cost of the plan too.
Those who I demonstrated the new tool to were particularly impressed with how easy and quickly they could view the differences when selecting different pH targets and products. The plans update instantly to reflect the information that has been inputted, allowing for a much more informed discussion on farm that doesn't take up valuable time.
Tailor your plans
The tool allows you to adapt any plans you create to your specific product specifications by altering the neutralising value. This can vary in bulk lime products and if it is incorrect, it could mean you apply too much or too little product. You are also able to alter the minimum and maximum application rates; although you may need to agree these with your lime contractor depending on their spreader capabilities.
In addition, it is simple to fix your plans to a tonnage if you have already ordered your product, or to a price if you have a lime budget for the year.
Once you have finalised your plan, you can export application files and maps immediately for your contractor from your farm office. This can be especially useful on those occasions when your contractor phones to say they can be with you earlier than expected; your maps and files can be ready in no time.
While the new Lime Applications tool gives you complete control over your liming plans straight from the farm, our applications team are always on hand should you need to discuss anything in more detail or if you would prefer to have your plans drawn up in the SOYL office.