Technology & Agronomy
- David was one of the founding members and past chairman of Scottish Agronomy in 1985.
- It has gone on to become the leading organisation in Scotland providing unbiased agronomic advice to Scottish cereal and potato farmers.
- With a dedicated group of agronomists and trials team conducting the most extensive independent trials across the country and with no links with any chemical or seed companies they are well suited to provide us with the best agronomic advice for all our crops.
- We regularly crop walk on a one to one basis with our agronomist to continuously keep track of our crop requirements.
- We also have monthly meetings with our agronomist and 8 other local farmers to discuss crop progress and any other news relevant to that time of year.
- The information and advice passed on by Scottish Agronomy via either one to one or group meetings is invaluable to our business and the quality of crops we produce.
- We, as a business, have always looked to be at the forefront of any technological advances in the agricultural world.
- We have found over the years that many of the technologies we have adopted have benefited the business greatly.
- However, like all new things, we have to be careful not to end up guinea pigs for new techniques and technologies as that can be an expensive mistake if it does not work.
- One of the best things we have invested in over the years is Auto Shut-Off technology on our Agrifac sprayer. In its first year it reduced our chemical and liquid fertiliser bill by 6% by reducing overlaps on our 36 metre tramlines.
- Another very beneficial piece of equipment we have installed at Easter Rhynd is wireless grain monitoring. Once a store is full we slide probes into the grain which wirelessly send hourly information back to our computers in the office allowing us to check the grain temperature and moisture regularly, which is essential when storing large amounts of grain for lengthy periods.
SOYL Precision Farming
- We started working with SOYL almost ten years ago when we decided we wanted to get a better understanding of the nutrient levels within our fields.
- They sampled the soil in all our fields to produce maps which showed the levels of Phosphorous (P), Potassium (K), Magnesium (Mg) and pH value of the soil across a field.
- This information allows us to variably spread lime, P and K, using our KRM Bredal spreader, across each field to bring the nutrient levels up and make them more even across each field.
- When the fields were re-sampled 5 years later we saw a vast improvement in the nutrient quality of all our soils which reflected the better yields we had seen in those years.
- We continue to variably spread these keys nutrients to keep the soil topped up.
- We have also started to explore SOYL's latest developments, which is varying the seed rate of a field depending on soil conditions and also varying Nitrogen application.
Precise Solutions - Ag Leader
- Ever since the first Auto-Steer systems became available on tractors we have been interested.
- We bought our first tractor (John Deere 8520) with Auto-Steer in 2003 and have never looked back.
- We have seen a marked improvement in driver and machine efficiency producing a 5% increase in productivity day on day.
- However, we found that while most of the manufacturers were putting their equipment out with their own Auto-Steer systems on them none of the systems could be inter linked and some systems worked better than others which proved very frustrating.
- So in 2012 we took the decision to put up our own base station here at Easter Rhynd in partnership with one of our neighbours.
- We used a company called Precise Solutions who use Ag Leader technology who are not affiliated to any one manufacturer but can be fitted to any machine.
- This means all our machinery now uses Ag Leader technology which has enhanced accuracy within our precision farming techniques.
- We use the GPS systems on the tractors for nearly every job from ploughing or cultivating, to fertiliser spreading to sowing.
- We have also invested in a handheld GPS unit which can be used to map fields, measure areas and sample soils along with many other useful features such as marking off drains.