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Certifying Your Cost Share Programs with EarthScout® Agronomic Reports

What began as an opportunity to conveniently package up a season of data for EarthScout® customers has escalated into something much more valuable. EarthScout Agronomic Reports are now helping farmers, who purchase soil moisture sensors through irrigation water management cost share programs, certify their programs with ease.

All federal and state funding requires a certification to ensure funds are being used appropriately. Farmers must submit records at the end of the season that show all rainfall events, irrigation events, and irrigation amounts. Any sensor information, like graphs, are helpful to verify that you are using the equipment to help determine when to irrigate.

At this time, reporting can be submitted in any format because there is not currently an implementation worksheet provided by the NRCS to certify these programs.

In this blog, we will talk about what the EarthScout Agronomy report contains and how they are being used by growers, conservation district offices, and NRCS employees.

What are EarthScout Agronomic Reports?

At the end of the growing season, EarthScout customers receive an Agronomic Report that summarizes the data collected by EarthScout sensors. This gives you a look at a whole season’s worth of data at once and is associated with the GPS location where your EarthScout was installed.

Each report is handmade and reviewed by an EarthScout agronomist before they are sent to the farmer, and the report is customized to include insights for the particular crop that was grown that season.

These reports are a great resource for further analyzing your in field data and what tweaks or changes can be made for the next season.

EarthScout Agronomic Reports help growers expand the database of information they collect from their individual farm. They serve as a quick and easy reference guide to view historical data in the area of the field it has been installed for year over year analysis.

What Does a Standard Report Include?

EarthScout Agronomic Reports consolidate all in season data into a 4-5 page report in .pdf form that is easily digestible and highly valuable to your farming operation. The following images are examples of what you would find in your report, including notes and insights you might find on each graph.

above: Air Temperature Graph: Key life stages layered into the graph along with high temperature thresholds markers where heat stress might occur.
above: Soil Moisture Graphs, by sensor depth – field capacity indicators are layered on top of data lines, and key life stages are also marked on the graph.
above: Soil Moisture Graphs, depth comparison chart – field capacity indicators are layered on top of data lines, and key life stages are also marked. Great for comparing different depths in the same location, and comparing different fields to one another, if applicable.

How Do These Reports Help Growers?

EarthScout Agronomic Reports assist growers in determining if irrigation or soil moisture goals are being met, and where you could improve your operations and make changes to your management practices in the coming years. The analysis of the data helps to determine new goals for future seasons down to the field level.

You can quickly determine if you have overwatered or underwatered your crop by viewing your soil moisture graphs and see if you were close to or within 50% of your field capacity throughout the growing season. The data collected by TDR soil moisture sensors allows you to calculate your field capacity with precision accuracy to help you determine this.

Your seasonal data allows you to find/see the variability of the soil in your field and helps you to adjust irrigation, nutrients, or tillage accordingly. You may also find insight into infiltration or compaction issues within your soil profile.

How Do I Receive My Report?

Reports are typically sent by email as a .pdf file once they are completed by the EarthScout team. Hard copies of the report can be mailed to the grower upon request.

Meeting With an EarthScout Agronomist About Your Report

You have the opportunity to review your reports with an EarthScout agronomist by request. You may include your conservation planner or personal agronomist, if you wish to! We are happy to help anyone you are working with understand how to use this data to your greatest benefit.

Meeting about your report is not mandatory, but we find that growers get the most out of their data by walking through it with an experienced EarthScout team member to learn tips on using your in-field soil moisture and derived data to improve on farm decision making.

Certifying Your Cost Share Program with EarthScout Agronomic Reports

EarthScout has eliminated the need to download your data off loggers and sift through confusing excel files to try and manipulate them into graphs by hand before you can interpret your data set. This saves the grower and conservation district employee hours of time that can be better spent thinking about other important farming responsibilities.

With EarthScout Agronomic Reports, your seasonal data is shared with you in a neat and tidy .pdf file and all you have to do is to send it to your conservation district or NRCS representative to certify your irrigation water management program, then start planning for next season!

You should talk to your local conservation planner annually to learn more about what funding opportunities are available to you.

Growing with EarthScout

With EarthScout soil moisture sensors, you can access field-by-field or zone-by-zone growing conditions in real time to make informed irrigation decisions, and only visit your fields when it is most convenient for you. All soil moisture readings are taken with TDR soil moisture sensor technology, which are installed in undisturbed soil – unlike capacitance probes.

All of your data is sent through cellular or wifi signal to your mobile or web application. The only labor associated with EarthScout is the install and uninstall of the equipment, and our customer service team is happy to help with anything you need throughout the seasons.

Visit our website for more information about our products and services or contact us to learn more!