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Maitland Foods

Using PCT AgClouds solutions and tools to their maximum potential, a wholistic farm management approach using Precision Ag mapping

Introduction

Jim and Katherine Maitland are the owners and operators of Maitland Foods. This family run cropping business have evolved their operations to produce the Pangkarra food brand. Pangkarra offers healthy, organic snack and food substitutes - different from most traditional products. They also offer a range of products including pasta, crackers and other on the go snacks. These are all made from locally sourced pulses and durum wheat. 

Breezy Hill Precision Ag Services has been working with Maitland farms from a technology, development and software integration standpoint since 2012. Jim is always willing to optimise his hardware and software by using them to their full capabilities. His goal is to ensure that the decisions he makes are well informed and profitable so that he can continue to build his cropping business long term. This combination of his strong relationship with the Breezy Hill Precision Ag Services team and usage of their Precision Pro Package means that Jim is highly experienced with the PCT AgCloud software and how each of it's capabilities are able to help him make informed decisions through his data. These insights are not only useful from a long term strategic standpoint but for making on the fly decisions at every step through the growing season with the focus always being on business improvement and profitability. 

Here's a typical year in the life of Jim Maitland and his usage of our Precision Pro Package. 

Breezy Hill Precision Ag Yearly Life Cycle

December 2018 saw Maitland Farm's harvest come to a close. Although things in the paddock have finished for the year, this begins the busiest time for Breezy Hill Precision Ag Services.

We begin our process by downloading all raw data from Jim's harvesters. His data has been automatically uploaded to our AgCloud software in packages, ready to be cleaned. Our team then goes through this data and removes any 'bad points', a service that no other company on the market offers. On top of yield data we also create hay yield maps from NDVI bio mass imagery which is a unique solution in understanding variability in hay crops. Our yield maps are also calibrated against his paddock tonnages to ensure that the tonnage of the paddock is true and correct on how it performed. 

 

Once cleaned, the data is presented as a snapshot report of crop performance. Jim and his team are able to see the results of last years harvest productivity and can use this information to begin planning for this upcoming season.  

 

Wheat Crop

SUMMER

December 2018 saw Maitland Farm's harvest come to a close. Although things in the paddock have finished for the year, this begins the busiest time for Breezy Hill Precision Ag Services.

We begin our process by downloading all raw data from Jim's harvesters. His data has been automatically uploaded to our AgCloud software in packages, ready to be cleaned. Our team then goes through this data and removes any 'bad points', a service that no other company on the market offers. On top of yield data we also create hay yield maps from NDVI bio mass imagery which is a unique solution in understanding variability in hay crops. Our yield maps are also calibrated against his paddock tonnages to ensure that the tonnage of the paddock is true and correct on how it performed. 

 

Once cleaned, the data is presented as a snapshot report of crop performance. Jim and his team are able to see the results of last years harvest productivity and can use this information to begin planning for this upcoming season.  

Barley Fields

AUTUMN

March kicks off the precision planning phase for Maitland farms. This involves a round table consultation with Jim, his Agronomist and other members of his team. Together, we look at trials and data from the previous year and analyse them, discuss them and draw conclusions.

 

From here we discuss plans for the coming year (fertiliser distribution, trials, variable rate designs). The team at Breezy Hill Precision Ag Services then create the appropriate prescriptions in line with Jim's budget requirements. Because each soil type zone has different yield capacity we tailor specific fertiliser inputs to his individual management zones. These are then uploaded to the cloud and sent to his machines wirelessly where they are loaded up for spraying, seeding or spreading in their respective fields. This wireless method of the PCT AgCloud software gives a massive advantage to the Maitland operation, as they have multiple operators in multiple machines, this cloud based technology ensures that maps are loaded and ready to go no matter who operates the machine. 

Close Up of Corn Field

WINTER

After seeding operations are finished, we move onto the next stage of the season, crop monitoring and management. As applied data from sprayers, spreaders and seeders automatically uploads to the PCT portal where we can process these and can get to clients account. The true value of this is that every time a machine passes over a paddock we can record what the machine put out and where!

 

As applied data is an important map record for analysing paddock performance at the end of the year. We can easily see whether increased or decreased rates resulted in better yields by knowing exactly where they went out. One of PCT AgCloud's most powerful tools is the ability to overlay different map layers and spatially pin point an area to look at the correlation between a rate application and its effect. 

 

Once the crops begin to establish then Jim and his agronomist can look at imagery and use it to determine how crops are emerging. These NDVI images are a great tool for crop scouting as they display the areas of high and low bio mass. This gives Jim a birds eye view of his crop and he can instantly see the areas that have a thinner canopy than others and he can go out and investigate its cause. 

Breezy Hill Precision Ag Services are able to work with Jim and his agronomist to use these NDVI map layers for strategic fertiliser placement.  A spreading prescription is then tailor made to match area specific nutrition which is uploaded automatically to the spreading machine.

Wheat Field

SPRING

Spring is a busy time for Maitland Food’s beginning with hay cutting and baling. Breezy Hill Precision Ag Services plays an important part in assisting with Jim's hay cutting strategy. Jim is interested in using PCT AgCloud’s NDVI biomass imagery as an indicator of hay yield. This year, we created NDVI bio mass imagery maps for September 1st, the day before the hay was going to be cut. This map showed areas of high and low biomass. Using PCT Ag Cloud's new Sampling Plan tool, we were able to pin point a sample site in each NDVI zone. We sent these geolocated points to Jim and his team who then loaded them onto his iPad so he could navigate to them in the field. At each site he took a biomass cut to validate hay yield in high and low biomass areas. By knowing just how much variability is occurring in his hay crops, Jim can calculate variable rate replacement fertiliser rates for the following year just like he does for his grain crops.

The hay cutting operation soon turns into harvest. Thanks to wireless data transfer, the precious harvest yield data is packaged into files and automatically uploaded from the harvester to a cloud based portal, where our team is able to ensure it is recording correctly and begin processing it.

Jim and the team at Maitland Foods are a fantastic example of how the benefits of a Precision Pro package can assist with making informed agronomic decisions year-round. They collect accurate and meaningful data, and Breezy Hill Precision Ag Services are with them every step of the way, to ensure it is stored, presented, and available to them whenever they need it in the office and in the field

If you'd like to incorporate our Precision Pro Package into your farming business, you can speak to a member of our team below: