The R7 Field Forecasting Tool from WinField United is a new web-based crop modeling solution designed to help support and improve input decisions for corn, soybean and wheat crops by using validated, trusted agronomic insights.

WinField United collaborated with ag technology leader iTK to develop the Field Forecasting Tool, with farmers and ag retailers participating in the testing process during the 2015 through 2017 growing seasons.

“The Field Forecasting Tool will allow farmers to know what nutrients their crops need and when, and to specifically target those applications,” says Joel Wipperfurth, WinField United ag technology applications lead. “It will also enable more interactive, real-time conversations between farmers and their retailers.”

The Field Forecasting Tool soybean model, for example, includes simulations of growth stages; leaf growth; production of biomass; and water, nitrogen and potassium uptake. The model is coupled with weather and soil models that predict the amounts of available nitrogen, potassium and water in the root zone.

“The Field Forecasting Tool offers a forward-looking perspective that farmers can use to help them address in-season crop stresses,” says Wipperfurth. “The tool takes into account data from the Answer Plot Program and tissue samples from the NutriSolutions 360 system and uses the plant as a sensor to measure variables that data models can miss.”

Information about a particular corn hybrid can also be used in conjunction with Field Forecasting Tool recommendations. For example, if the tool is showing a need for additional nitrogen and the farmer has planted a hybrid with a high response to nitrogen (RTN) score, the likelihood of a positive return on investment (ROI) from a nitrogen application is enhanced.

Throughout the growing season, the model is adjusted by measuring the nitrogen and potassium leaf contents of a tissue sample, and by inputting observed dates of growth stages to improve predictions.

“The Field Forecasting Tool is the first modeling tool to combine the effects of nitrogen, potassium and water stresses on soybean and corn growth and development,” he explains. “Plant growth is simulated daily under various conditions. Then, yield loss that cannot be recovered, and yield potential that can still be realized if plant stresses are addressed, are calculated to allow farmers to adjust in-season input practices.”

It will be available through WinField United retailers beginning this fall for the 2018 growing season.