With the late stages of the growing season approaching, we’re only about a month away from crop maturity in many parts of the country. As the corn fills out after silking, farmers are finding themselves in the fields, scouting their crop and making sure conditions are right for the last push before harvest.
If you’re looking to be in the field, it’s a good idea to keep track of your field conditions, so you know when the weather will cooperate. Try using the Field Conditions tools from DATALAYERS™ as your free daily check-up for real-time weather conditions, accumulated growing degree day (GDD) units, and total rainfall.
How Does the Weather Look?
Checking the forecast is something we all do when planning our days. If you’re planning to scout in the fields, it’s especially important to know what kind of weather to expect. Using the Real-Time Weather feature on DATALAYERS™, you can check the daily and weekly forecast for your fields, as well as a map of any projected rain in your local area.
The Real-Time Weather feature is also integrated with Extreme Weather Alerts from the National Weather Service, which is especially handy for making sure you’re not caught off guard with any storms or especially dangerous conditions. If an extreme weather alert comes in from the NWS for your fields, we’ll let you know about it here.
To get the latest updates on weather alerts as soon as possible, subscribe to the Extreme Weather Alerts feature, which sends real-time (<5 minutes) weather alert notifications to your John Deere Operations Center account. For long-term tracking and record-keeping, Extreme Weather Alerts will also push a scouting note for any extreme weather events that happen on your fields.
Subscribe for free by visiting the Real-Time Weather feature on DATALAYERS™: See my Real-Time Weather.
Measuring Rainfall Levels
Of course, tracking rainfall is more than just for checking dry conditions on scouting days. Getting adequate water to your crop plays a huge part in determining overall yields, as the first stages of kernel development in corn are incredibly sensitive to water stress. The Seasonal Precipitation tool in DATALAYERS™ gives you daily updates and measurements to help you make sure rainfall and moisture levels in your fields are adequate.
For many areas of the Midwest, we know that 2021 was one of the driest years on record. Using the Seasonal Precipitation tool, you can track historical rainfall levels for past years (back to measurements from the 1980s) and compare against this year’s measurements. We also provide aggregated historical maximum, minimum, and average rainfall levels to help benchmark against overall rainfall history.
Precipitation levels can vary even within different areas of your field, impacting crop growth and overall profits. Learn more about tracking profits within custom field management zones.
Keeping Track of Growing Degree Days
Rainfall isn’t the only field condition to drive crop growth; warmth and heat are also important. During this last stretch of growing season, keeping track of growing degree days can help you track your crop’s maturity and general harvest date. The Seasonal Growing Degree Day tool does just that by illustrating total growing degree day accumulation throughout the growing season. Growing degree day units can be measured for your needs by using three different GDD cutoff levels: 32°F, 50°F, or 60°F.
Like the Seasonal Precipitation tool, the Seasonal Growing Degree Day Unit tool can be used to compare current and historical heat unit accumulation. Data is accessible for individual years back to the 1980s, and aggregated historical maximum, minimum, and average levels are provided.
Maximizing your harvest this fall means doing the hard work in the summer months. Plan ahead and track your field conditions using DATALAYERS™ to make sure your crop gets the warmth, rainfall, and attention it needs. Just select your field to begin!
DATALAYERS™ is part of the PROFIT LAYERS® farm data analysis family. Get started today by using DATALAYERS™ for free!