Blog
September 28, 2020

FVC Agronomist Finds Rootworm Outbreak Early with FluroSense

Manal Elarab, PhD
Chief Operating Officer

The Frenchman Valley Coop (FVC) is a mainstay for grain growers in the Western Plains. They offer an array of services ranging from providing quality crop protection products to agronomic services delivered in an economical and timely manner. 

Jeff Wessels featured in Crop Life August 2020 Article

Jeff Wessels, area manager for FVC’s Acre+ Program in Imperial, Nebraska is always looking for ways to provide producers with a superior experience. Part of their secret sauce is not only a team of top agronomists but also the adoption of the latest precision ag analytics to identify issues in the field early on and help farmers maximize profitability.

The FVC team was looking for a partner that could fit into their current workflow while also increasing efficiencies and help their team be more proactive and catch potential pest or disease outbreaks early on. For the 2020 growing season, Jeff and the FVC team received weekly email reports including PDFs from FluroSat that defined crop performance by field and identified crop stress areas within each field. The FluroSense email reports used remote sensing technology and advanced crop analytics to add eyes in the sky and brought an added element to their scouting service.

FluroSense workflow helped field scout identify pest pressure early in 2020

Tyler Taylor, one of FVC’s agronomists that has boots on the ground 200+ days a year scouts irrigated corn, soybeans, and edible bean fields. During the growing season, Mr. Taylor visits each field every week, and, because of this, he has a general idea of where problem areas may arise in each field. However, he was interested in seeing how FluroSense Crop Stress Alert reports could assist his scouting to deliver more insights and value to his customers. 

When I receive a FluroSat email I look through it and make a note of what I am seeing. I get the email Sunday night and then go over it on Monday morning to get a good idea of what I should look at for that week.

Tyler Taylor, FVC agronomist
FluroSense email alert notifies agronomists about recent anomalies occurring in crop growth on their farmers' fields.
Image of Crop Stress Alert email that is delivered every Sunday to help optimize scouting workflows.

One Monday morning in mid-July when Mr. Taylor opened his weekly email report that suggests specific areas to be scouted on his fields, he noticed that a new stress area had been identified. When he went to scout the cornfield on Wednesday to check the area identified in the Crop Stress Report, initially he couldn’t visually identify the crop stress area.

It was on the southern pivot of the field. In the email, there was a big red area highlighted in the field but when I went to the field there was only a little yellow in the corn. It was kind of cold so I wasn’t worried about it, but then I started digging and I found a lot of rootworms.

Tyler Taylor, FVC agronomist

Mr. Taylor says it is useful to be able to get a notification of an issue in an area based on satellite imagery. The FluroSense program, based on remote sensing data and AI, was able to identify a crop health issue before the human eye could see a problem. 

It was the first [root worm outbreak] that we saw all season and it was cool that the program identified it first when we couldn’t see anything noticeably wrong by just walking the fields.

Tyler Taylor, FVC agronomist

Mr. Taylor relayed his scouting report to the agronomist working with the grower and within the next 3 days, the problem was being treated through chemigation.

This scenario perfectly illustrates why FVC continues to explore new ways to apply precision ag technology to its services. A great agronomist paired with the right precision ag tools is the future of helping producers positively impact their bottom line and succeed in today’s farm economy. Flurosat is looking forward to helping Frenchman Valley Coop continue to expand and innovate its Precision Ag programs and offerings so that they can continue to provide superior services to their clients in the Western Plains.

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