Gibson Insurance has partnered with Farmers Edge to bring additional value to our customers. In spending time with producers, we at Gibson Insurance have realized precision agriculture will be the way of the future and is already being implemented in many operations. The question we have asked ourselves and producers is “How can we utilize all this information to not only help in crop insurance, but improve the farming operation as a whole?” In talking with Farmers Edge, we believe they have developed the tools to help utilize all the technology you have on your farm to make your farm more profitable. Because of this partnership, Farmers Edge is offering all Gibson Insurance customers a one year free trial of their products.
What is Farmers Edge and how can they benefit your operation?
Farmers Edge is a technology company that offers a variety of services to benefit agricultural producers. I have used their products on my farm for a couple of years now and have nothing but good things to say about the services they provide.
My first experience with this technology was looking at satellite imagery of my fields. In this imagery I could see places in a wheat field that had reduced stands due to winter kill. When this was spotted, we were able to address these areas in the spring with extra applications of fertilizer to cause increased tillering. By doing this, we were able to correct a problem mid-year and increase the overall yield of our wheat. This same technology works for corn and beans as well. Insect damage, disease pressure, drainage problems and fertility problems can all be identified and corrected using these vegetive indexes. This information can be given to your agronomist or co-op to help you correct the issues at hand.
Record Keeping System
Farm Command is the name of the app/computer program Farmers Edge uses to gather all the data and present it to you in an easy to use interface. One of the benefits of the app is that it can keep all your records for each field, ie. Crop Variety, Plant Date, Acres Planted, and Variable Costs per field (Seed, Fertilizer, Fungicide etc.). During harvest, yield is measured by field and the grain’s destination is recorded. No longer do I have to remember, after the fact, which bin or elevator grain from each field went to. This has been especially helpful on share-cropped ground and gives the landlord confidence their grain was not mixed with other farms. After harvest, when the grain is sold, Farm Command will even develop profit maps from each field based on expenses, yield, and sales price for that crop.
These are devices that hook to your equipment that record field operations and equipment diagnostics in real time. They do not change any information on your monitors but do record this information for your record keeping system. When it comes to planting it records real acres planted in a field, not just the acres listed on the FSA maps. FSA maps may include wet spots, ditches, or maybe the field borders are just a little different than what you really plant. This information from your precision equipment can greatly improve the accuracy of your insurance coverage.
In 2020, we had one producer use this planting data and found he had been insuring over 100 acres more than he planted each year. Not only did he find instant savings on his crop insurance policy, but his yields are also far more accurate. This is very important as crop insurance is based on your past yield history. Insuring more acres than what are actually planted will bring your per acre yield down for your future crop insurance guarantees.
Farmers Edge provides weather stations for producers to have real time weather information for your farm right at your fingertips. These stations record rainfall, temperature, wind, humidity, growing degree days and much more. All of this information can greatly help all operations, like helping to plan when to apply fungicides so they will do the most good for the crop.
If you do your own spraying, this service is very valuable also. With these days of increased litigation an operator needs to have a record of wind speed, temperature inversions, as well as the data required by the government when spraying. These weather stations will record all this information in real time and can be accessed on the app.
Soil testing is one thing that most of us overlook at times. Although it is not included in the trial offer, soil testing can be added for each field at a very minimal cost. After these tests, an agronomist will develop recommendations based on your target yields. Then you can go to your supplier of choice and purchase the needed nutrients.
What is the cost?
For the trial, this program is free for one year to let producers see, feel, and touch this technology on their operations. After the first year a producer may cancel altogether or pick a plan that gives them the information they would like to keep getting each year. Prices vary based on services chosen but there are several packages that range from $1.5 – $6 per acre depending on the information needed.
The Farmers Edge program supplies more information than the average producer will use. Therefore, you can see what benefits you and use that information. In my operation I have seen all the features but have only used the ones that are of interest to me and they may be very different than those used by other producers.
It is important to remember, when working with Farmers Edge, all the information they collect is yours. They will not share this information with anyone without your approval. You may share data with whoever you want because this information is owned by the farmer.
If you are at all interested in these services, contact our office and we will have a Farmers Edge representative contact you with this introductory offer. There will be no pressure to sign up, but they can educate you much better than I can on the products and services offered. This is a great opportunity to see how precision agriculture can further benefit your operation.