WHAT ARE SWAT MAPS?
SWAT (soil, water, and topography) MAPS are the ultimate precision ag mapping technology to help farmers and consultants better understand field variability in order to optimize crop inputs and profitability. Multiple layers of field data are integrated into a single map depending on how much influence they have on the productivity of the field and can be used as a basis for soil applied fertilizer, seed, herbicide, and/or fungicide applications.
Agronomic and environmental benefits:
- ROI on applied nutrients
- even crop staging and maturity
- prevent lodging
- delineate salinity, acidity, sodic soils, or drainage
- reduce nitrogen loss
- maximize genetic potential
- better performance of soil applied herbicides
- environmental stewardship
WHERE IS THE VALUE?
Among the many agronomic benefits listed, each farmer may see a different value in using SWAT MAPS. You don’t have to go all in with every acre; you can try it out on a small scale to find the right fit for your farm. Whether you choose to map a flat field that just doesn’t perform well in some spots due to salinity or soil textural changes, or go for the more obvious one with lots of hills and depressions that you know are not being treated to their full potential, SWAT MAPS can help you get the most out of your land. We can vary the yield targets and adjust fertilizer and seeding rates depending on the productivity and mortality of specific areas.
Using a zone management system based on stable soil properties such as electrical conductivity, topography, elevation, organic matter, and water flow provides a comprehensive depiction of the factors influencing the crop and helps to make decisions that will maximize the efficiency of all your crop inputs. Regardless of farm location or specific goals, the objective is proper allocation of resources for better return on investment.
WHAT IS THE PROCESS?
Once you decide on a field that you want mapped, we will be ready with a CropMax truck equipped with a SWAT BOX to drive the field and collect data on soil, water and topographic properties. The SWAT MAPS team develops the many layers of information into multiple SWAT maps and a CropMax agronomist will then “ground-truth” the field to ensure accuracy of the data and to select the SWAT map that best fits your field. We observe all the different layers in order to select the right map that best suits that field.
Finally we sample the soil, taking from several georeferenced spots per zone to get a representative sample from each unique zone. In the first year, a complete soil test is conducted, including pH, organic matter, macro and micro nutrients. Additional tests such as base saturations, sodium, textures, etc., can be completed depending on what the potential problems are.
Once we get your machinery logistics and general fertility and seed plans in place, we build a prescription report to vary crop inputs throughout the zones. We offer any support needed to help transfer the file to your controller, as we know this has been a tricky process for variable rate technology in the past.
FIRST YEAR (includes mapping the field, zone soil sampling, and prescription report): $12 per acre
SUBSEQUENT YEARS (zone soil sampling and prescription report): $4.80 per acre