Corn yield varies across a field. Even in a good year, there are above- and below-average sections of a field. Varying the seeding rate across the different sections of the field may increase yield potential for farmers.

FieldScripts℠ integrates innovations in seed science, agronomy, data analysis, precision agriculture equipment and service to provide farmers with hybrid matches and a variable rate planting prescription to improve corn yield opportunity. FieldScripts will be the first offering from Monsanto’s Integrated Farming Systems research platform.

FieldScripts is planned to launch in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Minnesota in 2014. To support a successful launch, FieldScripts is currently in the Ground Breakers® on-farm trial program in those states. The purpose of the trials is to test the product in a real-world environment and to get feedback from farmers and dealers who are experiencing the technology first-hand.

FieldScripts will be offered via certified seed dealers.

Product concept

Yield variation is caused by more than soil type alone, and plant population density plays a major role in that variation. Identifying areas where yield variation occurs and determining how to optimize plant population for each yield environment is a complex proposition that depends on the genetics of the hybrid planted. As a result, farmers either choose to plant a static population rate and miss additional yield opportunity, or they plant a variable population rate without knowing much about the yield environments within their field and how their hybrid’s yield is impacted by population rates.

FieldScripts uses seed science and precision agriculture equipment to accurately plant less seed in low potential areas and more seed in high potential areas. By recommending the best hybrids for the field and providing a prescription for variable rate planting, FieldScripts is able to help farmers maximize yield potential.

Product Delivery

In 2014, FieldScripts will be offered through local DEKALB® FieldScripts certified seed dealers in the four launch states. Here’s how it works:

  • Farmers consult with their FieldScripts certified, local dealer and provide inputs like field boundaries, yield data, and fertility test results on their selected fields.
  • The dealer submits the farmer information to Monsanto.
  • Monsanto cross-analyzes the farmer information with our extensive knowledge of hybrid performance in different yield environments and generates hybrid recommendations and a variable rate planting prescription unique to each farmer’s field.
  • The dealer receives and reviews the farmer’s FieldScripts to ensure accuracy from a local agronomic perspective.
  • The dealer delivers FieldScripts to the customer through the FieldView iPad app.
  • The farmer connects their iPad to their Seed Sense 20/20 monitor in their planter cab, and the script is executed.
  • The dealer provides support through the growing season, including a mid-season check up.
  • The dealer captures farmer harvest data and submits it to Monsanto to further optimize next season’s prescription.

FieldScript Q&A

What is a plant population?
Plant population is how many seeds a farmer plants on an acre of land. If a farmer says he is planting 30,000 seeds per acre, that’s his plant population. Many factors, like soil type, location and the corn hybrid’s genetics, go into a plant population decision.

What is static rate planting?
Static rate planting is the practice of planting a uniform plant population across a field. For example, a farmer may set his planter to plant 30,000 corn seeds across an entire field. This is the standard practice for most farmers.

What is variable rate planting?
Variable rate planting is the practice of using different plant populations across a field. For example, in one section of a field, 35,000 seeds per acre may be the optimal plant population to maximize yield opportunity. In another section, 30,000 seeds per acre may be the best. New precision planting technology has enabled farmers to vary their plant populations within a field.

What does it mean to provide hybrid matches for farmers?
When farmers provide inputs like field boundaries, yield data, and fertility test results to their seed dealer, Monsanto is better able to recommend the best corn hybrid for a particular field. These matches are based on Monsanto’s extensive research to test hybrid performance across multiple yield environments.

What is yield variation?
Most fields are not uniform in how much they enable a farmer to produce. One area of the field may be a higher-producing area than another. For example, a section of a field may produce 200 bushels per acre, and another may produce 100 per acre, for a field average of 150 bushels per acre.

What is a yield environment?
The yield environment is all of the factors that may impact the total corn yield from a field. Soil type, disease history, pest pressure and many other factors affect how much corn a farmer can produce from an acre of land. Each of these factors interacts and impact each other in the field. Creating a favorable yield environment maximizes a farmer’s yield opportunity on that acre.