Precision Point Blog

What is OptRx?

by Sam Worley on May, 21 2015 in DirectCommand™

What are OptRx® Crop Sensors?

OptRx Crop Sensors measure and record data about crop health in real-time using the reflectance of light emitted on the growing plants. The OptRx system then determines the vigor of the crop (Vegetative Index).

Sensors obtain readings of crop conditions in a field and compares high crop vigor plants to the rest of the field. OptRx uses two crop vigor algorithms, NDVI (for small crops such as early growth wheat) and NDRE (for large crops such as corn and late growth wheat)

What problems do OptRx Crop Sensors address?

  • Challenges associated with weather and soil matter variability
  • Target nitrogen investment directly by applying higher rates in areas that will respond favorably to more nitrogen and reducing rates in areas that are nitrogen rich.
  • In manure applied fields, account for the variability of nitrogen caused by fluctuating concentrations of nitrogen within manure, as well as the limitations associated with manure spreading equipment.
  • OptRx provides a proven variable rate nitrogen prescription every year. No per-acre service fees

When do you apply nitrogen? Did you know these facts about nitrogen management?

  • As a general rule of thumb, every percent of organic matter has the capability of mineralizing to form 30 pounds of crop available N throughout the growing season. If there is a 2% variability of organic matter in a field, there could be 60+ lbs of N variability due to organic matter alone.
  • De-nitri¬fication can reduce nitrogen available to the crop by 2-5% per day when soil is saturated after initial two days.
  • Corn accumulates only 1 lb N/acre by the four-leaf (V4) stage but the following 6 weeks it accumulates 60-70% of its total seasonal uptake. During this period of high demand, some areas have an adequate supply of nitrogen to ¬finish out the growing season strong while other areas could maximize growing potential by using more.
  • University and OEM trials show an average of $20-$30 more per acre by side-dressing corn. In addition, OptRx crop sensors can make $20-$30 per acre over a flat-rate side-dress application. That’s a $40-$60 per acre improvement over a single pass nitrogen application.

Continued reading and studies

Want to learn more about OptRx? Click here.

Sam Worley

Sam has been with Ag Leader since August 2010 and became the Marketing Product Specialist in the winter of 2014. Sam helps with various marketing duties such as website maintenance, product catalog development and other tasks. He also works to provide timely technical information to Ag Leader dealers and customers and manages Knowledgebase content. Originally from Champaign, Illinois, Sam was influenced by agriculture early on with visits to his grandpa’s farm. Growing up he continued with that interest, working on neighboring forage and dairy farms, taking agri-science classes and FFA involvement. Sam graduated from Iowa State University in December 2009 with a degree in Agricultural Business. In his spare time he enjoys cycling, wrenching and spending time with friends.

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