FARMER CASE STUDY
Lameroo farmer Peter Maynard has applied variable rate technology (VRT) for seven years, and is very pleased with the results he has seen. Using a Gason hydraulically controlled air-seeder, Peter adjusts seeding rate and fertiliser applications based on maps he has developed to categorise different zones of his property. Since adopting VRT, Peter has noticed paddocks are a lot more even, and growth more consistent despite the paddocks being split into separate zones.
“Mapping is the most challenging part of using VRT, deciding how to split the paddocks into different zones. There are so many different options, it is hard to know where to set the boundaries,” he said.
Peter currently uses crop yields based on drought years, which are similar, though not identical, to Electromagnetic (EM) maps.
“I’ve found from my experience that the drought maps tend to give the best results, especially for nitrogen. However, I know it isn’t perfect for phosphorus replacement, but I think it is always going to be a compromise. I’m much happier with the mapping now than I was seven years ago.”
Peter determines his fertiliser application rates starting at a farm level, then breaking down to paddocks and then zones.