Precision solutions for precision block management

Vantage NZ is New Zealand’s leading precision agriculture expert providing growers all over New Zealand with precision agriculture products, services and expertise for the entire block.

At the root of it, precision agriculture and the technology behind it allows growers to easily record and collect detailed information across their block at a spatial level. GPS enabled tractors, spatial farm maps and soil maps, GPS-recorded soil nutrient test and much more all further enhance the understanding of why crops are performing like they are. Precision ag gives growers the confidence to tweak decision making at a spatial level to ensure all areas of the block are set up for maximum success.

Understanding your block from the ground up is integral to successful crop growth. EM (electro-magnetic) soil surveying has long been used as a precise method of understanding soil variability across a block and the effects it may have on crop growth and performance. How do I manage my light soil areas differently to my heavier soil areas? Are there pans across the block? These are all questions to be investigating particularly at the block planning phase, but equally in an established block. EM Surveying allows accurate identification of these differences so different decisions can be made in other areas of the block. For example, irrigation design might be matched to soil type variability or variety planting planned differently.  

While understanding your soil is critical, so is soil moisture. Multi-depth capacitance-based soil moisture probes such as the AquaCheck allow detailed insight into soil moisture levels the whole way down the root zone, making irrigation management a breeze with accurate information, including soil temperature right at your fingertips.

With new nitrogen regulations coming into effect, it’s now even more important to ensure that inputs are recorded and fine-tuned as much as possible while ensuring optimised productivity and profitability within this regulated environment. Simplifying record-keeping through the use of integrated GPS displays and easy-to-use software apps such as Trimble Ag Software now take the hassle out of it all. Trimble Farmer Core and Farmer Pro offer solutions from basic record keeping through to full work-order planning and crop scouting.

Having identified all this variability and having these maps is all good and well, but you still need the hardware to control the application, and that’s where the Trimble display range can help. From the entry-level GFX-350 right up to the TMX-2050 there’s a solution for whatever your needs are be it basic guidance, section control, steering or much more. Trimble is currently offering a trade-up program for old displays whether they’re Trimble or not so if you’re interested in upgrading get in touch with the Vantage NZ team today to find out if you qualify.

Vantage NZ is your one-stop-shop for all your precision ag needs. To find out more about how precision ag could help your farming business call 0800 482 682, or contact us info@vantage-nz.com.

 

Article featured in Orchardist November 2020

What is Precision Ag? Put simply it’s about using the right tools.

Precision agriculture can sound complicated and technical, but it is just an extension of everyday farming, says Jemma Mulvihill from Vantage New Zealand.

“Simply put, it’s about using the right tools and products for the right application to solve a problem. The results are better environmental management and farming efficiencies,” she says.

Since it started in 2010 Vantage New Zealand (formerly Agri Optics New Zealand Ltd) has grown to be New Zealand’s leading precision agriculture solutions provider. In February 2020 the company was re-branded and re-launched as Vantage NZ, combining the highly skilled and knowledgeable staff from both Agri Optics NZ and GPS Control Systems when the company purchased the Trimble dealership for New Zealand. Jemma says the result has been a more comprehensive suite of services, products and solutions covering the gamut of what farmers may require from one source.

“We are now New Zealand’s only full-time dedicated precision agriculture provider offering a full spectrum of products so we can assist farmers the whole way through the journey, making it more efficient and cost-effective for them to get the support they are after.”

With its head office in Methven and team based around the country Vantage NZ can provide precision agriculture service and support across New Zealand. Jemma says Vantage NZ has a great team offering many years experience, which is important to maximise the potential for clients and to support them all the way through.

She points to examples, such as electromagnetic soil surveying and soil moisture monitoring, as to how precision agriculture solutions can make a real difference to a farmer’s operation.

“By understanding the soil variability across a farm, this can inform irrigation and nutrient application decisions. For example, you might lower the amount of water placed on lighter soils or apply a little frequently, whereas, on heavier soils, you may be able to apply more. Savings in water usage and electricity can be a significant return on investment and also result in the farmer growing better crops. Similarly applying nutrients in the right amounts depending on the soil maximises potential without waste or negative environmental outcomes.”

Precision agriculture solutions can also help farmers to avoid some of the dreaded paperwork, she says. For example, the Trimble GFX-750 display can connect the entire operation with innovative, fully integrated software solutions that transform the way people farm by, for example, sending jobs to tractors from a cell phone or computer and generating farm proof of placement reports etc.

Jemma says because Vantage NZ was established off the back of on-farm use through its founders and directors, this gives a grassroots understanding of what farmers really need.  “Our key focus is on helping as many farmers as we can to implement precision agriculture in a sustainable and goal-driven way in their businesses. For us, that starts with understanding the customer’s issues and bringing solutions to the market that make a real difference.”

 

Article published in: Business Rural South, September 2020