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Why Tracking Land Quality Metrics Matters

As the digital farming landscape grows, the amount of accessible farm data grows even faster. This can be a complex topic for farmers to unpack: how do you know what information to pay attention to, and what information to pass on?

Paying attention to the right land quality metrics will paint a picture of how your field performs. It is important to pick a handful of metrics which can tell you the full story. So, what are some of these metrics, and how can they help improve the performance of a farm?

What are Land Quality Metrics?

Land quality metrics are information that can tell you about the characteristics of your field. Generally, land quality metrics can tell you about your soil and the layout of your field. Some examples of land quality metrics include:

  • Soil type and crop productivity indexes (NCCPI/CSR2)

  • Organic matter, soil pH, and CEC

  • Elevation and slope

  • Field ruggedness

DATALAYERS™ lets you see your land quality metrics for free (including soils, elevation, and more) in one simple app. Try it for free by picking your field: See my field quality metrics.

Land Quality Impacts Your Bottom Line

Tracking your land quality metrics is important because your land quality can directly boost your bottom line. It’s well-known that soil type, soil quality and elevation can impact the performance of your crop. Knowing the layout of your field’s soil type and elevation can help identify trends and understand how each land quality metric drives your bottom line.

An image of a map on a field showing profit levels corresponding to planted seed hybrids.
Use the PROFIT LAYERS® Zone Analysis to see breakdowns of field profits by soil type and other metrics.

To see how your land quality metrics are impacting your profits, consider the PROFIT LAYERS® Zone Analysis. The PROFIT LAYERS® Zone Analysis shows you how soil types are impacting your field’s profits. You can also use the elevation maps and custom scatter plot reports in PROFIT LAYERS® to see how your crops are responding at different elevation levels.

Expanding the Horizon

By boosting a field’s profitability and overall performance, land quality metrics tie directly into how much a parcel of land is worth. If you’re prospecting for an extra field to rent or buy, look at the land quality metrics first to ensure that you’re looking at the best field available.

DATALAYERS™ can help with prospecting by providing soil and elevation maps, soil quality information, and a land value estimate with local comparable sales.

Planning for Future Improvements

Tracking your field quality metrics can help understand profitability performance in this crop season. By looking toward the future with your field quality metrics in hand, you can make data-driven decisions and plan for profit-boosting field improvements.

For example, a low-elevation area zone in the middle of the field might produce low yields and low profits. Considering a tile drainage installation project may alleviate any water pooling issues in the low-elevation zone. Our partners at DIGS Associates can help you plan the right water management project for your field.


Making the best decisions for your bottom line means understanding the land that you work on. Looking at the land quality metrics through DATALAYERS™ will help you manage your profits and performance in this season, and in years to come.

DATALAYERS™ is part of the PROFIT LAYERS® farm data analysis family. Find out how we can help your operation by requesting a demo.


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