- Leaf Area Index (LAI) satellite maps – superseding the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) maps, the new biomass images improve the accuracy of variable rate fungicide applications.
- ‘Expert View’ – shows key data used to calculate risk alerts including weather, disease risk by type, lodging, nutrition and growth stage.
- ‘Share Your Farm’ – gives farmers the ability to share access and information with colleagues and advisors.
- ‘CrossFarm Dashboard’ – provides an overview and comparisons across multiple farms for farmers and advisors.
Recent updates to xarvio™ Field Manager, powered by BASF, gives its 30,000 European users access to further insights, more accurate field mapping, the ability to share farm access and a useful overview of farms, enabling better decision making.
Launched in the UK this year, Field Manager has already amassed 1,100 new users. By working closely with growers and agronomists, xarvio has enhanced the platform’s accuracy and forecasting abilities.
Andrew Adams, a grower from Northern France, has been using xarvio since 2016, with the technology now deeply imbedded in his arable enterprise.
He has complete confidence in its ability to accurately forecast growth stage and disease pressure, helping him optimise the profitability of his crops.
“Like the UK, we’ve experienced a tough growing season this year and by March we had extreme variability in our crops,” notes Mr Adams. “I wondered whether xarvio Field Manager would cope, but visual assessments undertaken in the field confirmed its accuracy.”
Mr Adams has been involved in a xarvio variable rate fungicide trial. Fields are divided along the tramlines with standard flat rates applied alternately with variable rates at T1 and T2 applications. The real-time LAI biomass maps are used to calculate the variable rates, increasing or decreasing the rate by up to 20% depending on the biomass variability.
“In our field trial the variable rates gave a yield uplift averaging 0.25t/ha, saving €2,53/ha in input costs. That put an extra €46,30/ha on the bottom line,” says Mr Adams.
Closer to home, Jock Willmott, Director at Strutt & Parker, and Graham Willoughby, farm manager have been using xarvio Field Manager at Maces Farm in Essex.
“We’ve relatively consistent soil types over the 1,000ha of predominantly combinable crops,” comments Mr Willmott. “The land is stretched along 4.5 miles though, so we’ve variable weather conditions across the acreage. It’s something we’ve long suspected but are now able to prove with two weather stations on-farm. We’ve also GPS steering on our machinery and are currently varying our seed rates, as well as our phosphate and potassium applications.
“Profitability is our key focus and any software we invest in has to justify its place,” says Mr Willmott.
“When yields are low, being able to confidently reduce inputs makes a significant difference to the farm’s profitability. We don’t want to be spending money on crops when the yield isn’t there, but we do want to invest in crops that have high yield potential. That’s where this technology comes in, it gives us that confidence.”
The evaluation of xarvio at Maces Farm coincides with increasing environmental pressures. “We need to be able to account for our actions,” says Mr Willmott. “Decision-making based on data and science, in addition to our visual assessment and intuition, not only justifies our actions but improves our decision-making.”
“We’ve had a very good experience with the software so far,” adds Mr Willoughby.
“When Mr Willmott and I are crop walking, we walk different routes on different parts of the farm yet we still don’t cover all 1,000ha. The sprayer operator also sees things we don’t see. Field Manager means we can all record our observations and share them, so we’ve all got a complete picture, all of the time.”
“In bringing all our information together, xarvio is making our decision-making processes easier, simpler and more accurate,” concludes Mr Willoughby.