Published July 24, 2011 13:34
One Veris system wasn’t going to be enough for Crop Quest. One wouldn’t be enough to map 50,000 acres in a season, and one definitely wouldn’t be enough to complete 18,000 acres in less than a month for a large grower in New Mexico. But one was all Crop Quest needed to verify that Veris soil maps were the way to go. Now Crop Quest owns and operates two Veris Mobile Sensor Platforms with Soil EC and pH modules, serving clients from New Mexico to Missouri.
Crop Quest was founded in 1992 by a group of innovative crop consultants from across the Midwest. In 2008, they added Veris EC mapping to their services. Along with EC, Crop Quest is seeing a majority of their eastern Kansas and central Oklahoma customers using Veris on-the-go soil pH maps for variable lime applications. With every Veris EC and pH map, they also run Real Time Kinematic (RTK) GPS which provides a precise elevation map. Rob Meyer, the head Veris operator for Crop Quest’s precision ag department explains, “We run RTK with the Veris to help with field drainage, and to use with EC data in developing management zones”.
John Hecht is the Special Projects Manager for Crop Quest services. Since 2001, John has been working with Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI) in Farmington NM, who are developing an irrigation system for their 110,000 acres. The NAPI project prefers sandy loam soil for their potato crops, and the soil EC maps identify precisely the location of that sandy loam soil. John adds, “The EC data also helps pinpoint the better soils on the project, which will have pivot replacement done first, when needed.” This project has been quite the test for Crop Quest and their Veris MSP units. In what is likely a world record, last year Crop Quest mapped 15,000 acres in 17 days, and in 2011 16,000 acres in 12 days. This was only possible by taking shifts in order to run their two Veris systems day and night. Although speed is important to complete the acres, quality is even more important. In a few cases, Crop Quest has seen data quality issues and remapped some acres. “If we are going to do a job we are going to go it right; if we think we can get better data then we will go back and do it again,” John states. Crop Quest will no doubt be working with NAPI project for a several more years to complete the 110,000 acres, but the NAPI organization can rely on Crop Quest and the Veris system to do the job right.