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Driving Profitability with Variable Rate Seeding

Feb 22, 2019

Variable Rate Seeding is an approach that is easy and an effective way to manage input cost and be environmentally sound at the same time. Using yield data, we can group together similar production areas and manage 2 out of the biggest inputs: seed and nitrogen. The example shown below shows a nitrogen and seeding prescription in which we have spread more nitrogen and seed in the top producing areas of the field.

CFE’s Innovate Nitrogen Report below reveals how much N per bushel we are using in the field. Showing the differences between the flat rate application and the variable rate application, we are able to manage the lower and higher yielding zones more accurately by applying the actual nitrogen needed for the appropriate grain uptake. The report shows the ability to use technology to drive seeding and fertilizer together to get more yield and cut cost at the same time.

Another way to look at this is to use a nitrogen modeling program. Below is an image from Climate Nitrogen Advisor. You can see the model is predicting the best part of the farm to be short on nitrogen. From this data we can make the decision to adjust the amount of nitrogen up on the best part of the farm and lower it down on the worst parts of the farm as we don’t need 70 pounds of excess nitrogen applied.

Seeding population also has the ability to have large impacts on input cost. Use data to pick the correct hybrid for the type of ground it is going on, and with that know if it needs population or not. Assign yield goals to that particular area and plant a seeding rate that matches the yield goal. Variable rate seeding also hedges against drought by taking the pressure off soils that do not have a great water holding capacity. Allowing for consistent plant performance year over year. The grower’s feedback is “I've never had such consistent ears all the way across the field."


To sort through these details, contact your local CFE Agronomist.
They can help prioritize the most effective and economical use of your dollars.


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