Every year we choose 5-10 new data capture technologies to see if they improve our ability to capture actionable data that increases yield potential.
We also are very focused on tools that enable generational transfer of knowledge, which is to say realizing that the notebooks full of past years data can now be integrated into digital farming platforms. We have created ‘data test plots’ in several fields. You can see some of the intro videos here: canola and flax.
One of the platforms we are trying is Farm Dog, which is a digital scouting app that works to capture what you are seeing while you are in the field. There are other digital scouting apps, so we will give you what we liked about this one and a few opportunities that challenged us.
What we like:
It has a simple user interface
It works even when you don’t have cell reception - and uploads as you gain reception
It integrates with John Deere Operations Center, so the scouting reports are right alongside the applications we have done in the field
It has GPS pinning in the field so we can go back and check the before and after of applications, and be consistent in where you are scouting so you can pair with what you are seeing in other imagery (drone, satellite etc.)
What has been challenging:
Finding the camera on the user interface when using forms tricked us for a bit - after you scout the crop the camera is behind the 3 ellipsis on the right hand side - in case that saves you any time in finding it
One of our field boundaries on Operations Center would not come through on Farm Dog - just took a bit of time to figure that one out.
We have included a sample scouting report below. Farm Dog has great tutorials that show the full range of the application here.