AGRI-BRIEFS
  AGRONOMIC NEWS ITEMS
From Agronomists of the
Potash & Phosphate Institute
655 Engineering Drive, Suite 110
Norcross, Georgia 30092-2837
Phone (770) 447-0335

Winter 1997, No. 2

USING SITE-SPECIFIC TECHNOLOGY IN WORKING WITH LANDLORDS

Using Site-Specific Technology in Working with Landlords Many farmers are finding that one of the most valuable uses of site-specific technology, and especially the data bases developed, is in communicating with their landlords. With a large...and growing...percentage of farmland owned by absentee landlords, it is important to maintain such communication. Many of these landlords do not have experience with farming and may not understand the information they get. If they are involved in making decisions on the farm, representation of data in graphs and maps that we get from site-specific tools can greatly enhance their understanding.

    Putting together a book of information on each farm...or each field...is an important step for the farmer and can be a valuable resource for the landlord. Many farmers are finding such records valuable when renting land from new landowners to expand their operation, and help them keep the rented land they already farm. Landowners learn about the technology and its value as a management tool and will likely appreciate...and even expect...seeing their tenants make use of it.

    Yield maps, soil test maps, soil survey maps, and drainage maps are examples of information that can be useful in working with landlords. It is easier to convince a landlord to invest in improvements such as buildup fertilizer and tile drainage if you can present a good set of maps and economic calculations to justify the request.

    Landlords are often concerned about whether their land is being managed in an environmentally friendly manner. Again, site-specific records can be used to justify inputs of fertilizer and pesticides by showing they are based on real needs. They also help demonstrate the response to inputs, which helps prove the need.

    Landowners will vary in their interest and in their ability to understand data from their farms, but most will appreciate maps that help them visualize the variability in their fields. Many will appreciate it more if you take the additional steps to provide economic analysis and even draw maps of the variability in such factors as cost per acre, profit per acre, and other economic considerations.

   So, when assessing the costs and benefits of site-specific technology, don't forget to include the value of having a better informed landlord when it comes to important decisions which the landlord helps determine.


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