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When it comes to scouting, DIY rules

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LOOKS GOOD: From the road many crops look good, but Farm Progress PANEL members are leaving their trucks and continue to scout their own fields during the season.
The Farm Progress PANEL asked how you track crop progress and health, and respondents showed they like field time

We're in the middle of the season now, crops are growing, but weather is taking its toll. We wanted to know how Farm Progress PANEL members monitor crop progress and health, so we asked.

Turns out panel respondents remain a predominantly do-it-yourself kind of group. But let's run the numbers.

Just under one-quarter of respondents say they work with a crop consultant or independent crop scout to scope out crop health. On bigger farmers this is getting more common because walking fields can be time consuming.

We ask about two different levels of new technology that can help fine-tune scouting to see how that was being deployed. And it appears the adoption process, for PANEL respondents, is gradual.

For example, about 7% of respondents say they're using drone imagery to monitor crop health. In the question we combined the self-made or consultant gathered imagery since more consultants are turning to drones to capture crop information. The less than 10% response here means this business model is still firming up, but as new software comes on board this area could grow in future years.

Satellite imagery has been around for some time, but is still not widely used. There are new crop services offering daily imagery and tools to target those pictures that may indicate a need to scout. But with just 8% of respondents saying they use satellite tools, it looks like adoption is gradual here too.

The big winner, as indicated, is the do-it-yourself scouting, and 62% responded that they scout their own crops regularly. It's a valuable way to know crop progress, and with tools to tackle crop diseases available, scouting does pay.

Thanks to everyone who responded to these PANEL questions.

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Be a part of the PANEL

The Farm Progress PANEL is your chance to share your thoughts on key issues. To take part, start by signing up for our daily mobile text service Farm Progress NOW, we noted above. Later in one of our daily texts we'll provide information about how to sign up for the PANEL. And thanks to the respondents for helping us out.

TAGS: Scouting
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