Spring is here, and as agriculture professionals prepare for planting this season, we know that evaluating emergence will be top of mind. Accurate stand counts and early intervention can mean the difference between a successful harvest or major crop losses. But traditional ground sampling is imprecise and often involves a high margin of error.
Agremo, available on the DroneDeploy App Market and in the Precision Agriculture subscription package, offers a cost-effective alternative to traditional stand counts that is easy and accurate. Drone-based stand counts let agriculture professionals pinpoint areas of potential yield loss and take corrective action at key times during the growing season. With the app, users can count plants across an entire field using maps produced in DroneDeploy. In a matter of hours, users receive a detailed report with information on stand density and emergence. This level of efficient analysis has made Agremo one of the most popular agriculture apps on the DroneDeploy App Market.
What We’ve Learned From Our Customers
During a recent trip, the Agremo team asked farmers to name a few things they struggle with in regards to stand count and stand establishment. They learned that over 75% of farmers have difficulties with plant loss due to inaccurate stand counts. When asked what they would do with data obtained from accurate stand counts and how this would benefit them, roughly 80% said that data would enable them to adjust their weed and pest control measures and address low germination rates in time. The remaining 20% said that accurate stand counts would make it possible for them to verify how effective an externally performed replanting was.
Plant Counts Today
Farmers typically perform stand counts by walking through the field, which is hugely time-consuming and far from accurate. What you see with your naked eye might be many hundreds or thousands of dollars away from what you could have achieved.
When faced with events that might have affected crop emergence, you must take action quickly. Within a short window of time, you must evaluate whether in-season course corrections are worth the cost, or if it’s best to reduce costs and let the field run its course. But traditional ground sampling methods offer very little information by which to make these crucial decisions. They involve taking a sample and extrapolating it across an entire field, which can in a high margin of error. At best, they offer a rough estimate of crop emergence.
One way to evaluate corn stands is the 1/1000th-acre method. To obtain the number of plants per acre, growers count the number of corn plants in a specific length of row (1/1000th of an acre) and multiply the number by 1000. This is then repeated in different locations in the field. Another method of taking stand counts is called the wheel method, where 150 plants are counted while measuring the distance using a measuring wheel. Multiple areas are sampled in the field, then the results are extrapolated across the entire field.
So, What Can Stand Counts Really Help Me Evaluate?
Accurate stand counts are highly valuable to provide insight into the following early season activities:
- Planter efficacy. Was my planter working properly? Do I need to make any adjustments or repairs before using it on other fields?
- Early season hybrid performance, and indicators of pest or disease pressure.
- Areas to re-plant.
When Should I Be Conducting Stand Counts This Spring?
We recommend using Agremo on any variety of crops throughout the year, but below are a couple of common crop types, and recommendations on when to conduct drone-based stand counts:
Winter Wheat: Evaluate Yield Loss
If you’re operating in an area that suffered a particularly cold winter, it’s important to see how the plants are responding to the weather. Once the snow has melted or once the cold weather is over, perform a plant population analysis to determine yield loss.
Corn And Soy: Evaluate Emergence And Determine Areas To Re-plant (V2-V4)
Estimate sowing quality and spot areas with low performance. The accurate number of plants and the location of low-performing areas will tell you whether or not to replant, assess early losses, and evaluate planter performance.
How Do I Get Access To And Use Agremo Stand Counts?
Agremo is available to purchase per acre in the DroneDeploy App Market, or you can purchase the Precision Ag Package that includes 1,000 acres of analysis. To use the app, install it from the DroneDeploy App Market, create an Agremo account, fly your fields, and submit the processed imagery to Agremo for analysis. Learn how to make smarter agricultural crop management decisions with drone maps and analysis in The Ultimate Guide to Drones on the Farm e-book, or read some of our other customer success stories.