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Serving: NE

Look high and low for crop management

Kevin Schulz Ryan Hassebrook, holding a drone
AERIAL VIEW HELPS BOOTS ON THE GROUND: ServiTech provides farmers a unique look at their field with the use of high-resolution imagery taken by drones such as the one held by Ryan Hassebrook, director of business development.
As the compound name implies, ServiTech offers farmers service with technology backing.

Supply chain disruptions, only exacerbated by events such as Hurricane Ida, may make it difficult for farmers to get agronomic inputs such as fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that they are counting on to get them on the road for a bountiful crop in 2022.

Farmers are being advised to place orders early so as not to be left scrambling during crunch time. That’s an option, but maybe it’s time to rethink what your soils and crops actually need to attain big yields next year.

Many crop consultants and farm cooperatives offer services to guide you on your agronomic journey, and ServiTech Inc. is just one such company offering a variety of services to farmers.

According to Ryan Hassebrook, ServiTech director of business development, the company’s arsenal of laboratories allows quick turnaround of testing of samples. Whether they be soil or tissue, “We can analyze what the crop needs right then and there and create a plan …With product limitations and just general input costs, being able to correctly and accurately identify where we need it and what we need from a product standpoint, especially on that fertilizer.”

Aerial view and boots on the ground

Complementing the lab analyses, the company offers high-resolution drone imagery check of farmers’ fields, and “tailoring the imagery component with the agronomists, now we can create management zones that are a lot more accurate versus just a broadcast spread to put better use of that product when you need it,” Hassebrook adds.

Hassebrook and the ServiTech team were on hand at the recent Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island, Neb., sharing the company’s mission to help producers make the most of their resources to maximize their investment.

ServiTech covers Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Iowa, as well as the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas — in addition to states bordering company’s core area. “This year in particular, we’re really excited to start talking about how technology is changing our business and helping us provide a higher level of service to our customers,” Hassebrook says. “And so, the thing that we really wanted to emphasize — especially this year — is looking at using ultra-high-resolution imagery, whether it’s through drones or satellites and the regularity of that to improve the reach and the eyes of our agronomists out in the field.”

Combining the literal thousand-foot view with boots on the ground, “We’ve got imagery and the agronomists who can mirror all that together, to help a farmer make real-time decisions at a time when it’s still actionable, when they can actually do something to solve the problem,” he says.

ServiTech, the name, merges “service” and “technology,” which is exactly what the company offers, rather than selling a specific product. “Primarily it’s information, knowledge, observations and helping farmers make better decisions,” Hassebrook says. “Using the data available in the field, the data that’s available from the combine, helping them [farmers] make better decisions as a result of that, and then again the agronomist out there in the field making real-time observations, and being able to determine what they need when they need it — so whether it’s a fertility treatment, a fungicide treatment, a chemical treatment, or an irrigation application.”

Complete agronomic picture

In addition to the sampling of soil and plant tissue testing, ServiTech laboratories have the capability to test feed and water, as well as an environmental component. Hassebrook says the company is one of the industry’s leading feed testing laboratories, helping nutritionists develop a ration from the available feedstuffs.

ServiTech labs are in Hastings, Neb.; Dodge City, Kan.; and Amarillo, Texas. He says turnaround on submitted samples can be within a day, taking into consideration of existing lab workload and timing of sample receipt.

Also on the livestock side, Hassebrook says the company does test manure samples and will work with producers on manure management plans, “which fits nicely within the agronomics as well. They certainly have some permits, whether it’s their holding ponds, we can test that manure, then test the soil and make sure that what they’re applying fits their manure management plan.”

ServiTech caters to farmers’ realization that manure is an asset, and no longer a liability. “We can provide that nutrient analysis of the manure, and then help them find farmers who have the ability to land apply” if the livestock producers themselves do not have that ability. “We make it turnkey, where we can test the manure, test the soils and keep everything in line,” he says.

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TAGS: Technology
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