I was speaking at a meeting in Central Illinois before Christmas. My presentation included using data to make agronomic management decisions. In the talk I mentioned that accurate data is absolutely imperative to making good decisions. I described the example where I think of the business of precision agriculture like an inverted pyramid. The point of the pyramid is the grower and the data they produce. If they do not do a good job of collecting data, the rest of the pyramid then comes crumbling down.
I suggested that there has been a lack of education to the end users of the equipment on the proper methods for setup and calibration. A participant spoke up and made the comment that he thought another reason for a lack of farmers actively pursuing accurate calibrations was that currently there has been little demonstration of the utility of the data.
The more I thought about this the more I found myself agreeing with him. I thought of all the yield maps I have seen printed out and put on a shelf after being viewed once -- maybe. If this is all you are going to do with the data, then why would the need for calibration be evident to you?
The more I reflect on those ideas, the more I recognize that each definitely plays a role in the lack of proper calibration. Regardless of why you do not calibrate correctly, it is a bad habit that you should break!
It is ultimately up to you to avoid the true definition of insanity--doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. It might be best to turn to the dealer or equipment manufacturer for the proper methods of calibration or review the calibration blogs I wrote last October.
In future blogs I will be discussing how people are using data to improve overall management of their operations.