Technology Assistance – South East Farmer – Nick Strelczuk

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Nick Strelczuk precision technology specialist for HutchinsonsThis year's wet conditions have meant many growers have not been able to complete their autumn drilling, so will have to look at spring cropping options once soils begin to dry.

According to Nick Strelczuk, precision technology specialist for Hutchinsons, farmers can be assisted by current and new developments in precision technology such as Omnia and TerraMap to maximise the returns from spring cropping and be as efficient as possible in the circumstances.

“With Omnia it's possible to use last year's harvest data to make sure that the most easily managed and the most positive yielding areas of fields are the focus when conditions become favourable. It does this by subdividing fields and parts of fields specifically, allowing them to be treated accordingly for nutrients and other inputs."

“With the data in one place within Omnia, it's possible to analyse yield maps from 2019 harvest to plan spring sowings and to optimise seed rates – a valuable winter task! Creating the most detailed variable rate plans is key to an evenly established crop, and that means that the information going into the plans needs to be as accurate as possible," says Nick.

He explains that TerraMap is a new, high resolution soil mapping service available from Hutchinsons delivering resolutions of over 800 points/hectare, a level unheard of until its launch back in spring 2019. “Soil scanning takes place by driving an all-terrain vehicle fitted with the sensor over a field and sampling soils. As long as the buggy can travel, TerraMap can be used, so it is a very versatile system.”

TerraMap provides high definition mapping of all common nutrient properties, pH, soil texture, organic matter and CEC as well as elevation and plant available water-these results can be used to create more accurate variable rate plans within Omnia.

Fruit growers aren't left out either. “We can scan orchards, download the data in Omnia and it can then be used for nutritional plans in existing orchards. If planting a new orchard it can be used to help with row and tree spacing, as well as the type of rootstock to use. At the National Fruit Show in October many fruit growers were interested in the technology of the Omnia system and the TerraMap and many have signed up," said Nick.