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

Spring 1996, No. 2

KNOWLEDGE IS NEVER A BURDEN

We are in the age of information...a real communication revolution. But do you sometimes feel there is so much information constantly being thrown at us that it is impossible to understand...much less utilize...any of it? Perhaps you feel more like an accident victim on the “Information Superhighway” rather than a beneficiary. Don’t be discouraged, but rather be selective. In crop production, ask yourself what information is important for efficient, high yield production and focus on that information and the tools to best utilize it.

Plants have much more genetic potential than we have management skill. What we actually do in managing a crop is minimize yield loss from that genetic maximum. So each decision...each detail... is important in squeezing the most out of that genetic potential. An uninformed decision based on habit or expediency can be very costly. Let’s consider some decisions:

Information is the basis of all our decisions. Regardless of the source...county Extension agent, local fertilizer dealer, or the Internet...the key is knowing what questions to ask.

You may have heard about Variable Rate Technology. In this case the same information that we have always used is simply being utilized more intensely. Rather than look at the average value across a field, for a certain factor, we can now map its variation in detail. Monitors can be hooked up to grain combines to map yields on the go. We can superimpose on these yield maps information on soil tests, weeds, soil topography and other characteristics. We can now adjust our inputs to account for variation within individual fields. It is not so much using new information as it is better utilizing present information with new tools.

Don’t be intimidated by the volume of information available, but rather learn to be selective and learn to use that information better. We have the tools, and after all, knowledge is never a burden.

-AEL-
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