Sub-fields will let you temporarily divide a field that you have mapped in fieldmargin. This blog outlines some of the ways that this feature can be used.
You can use sub-fields to measure out areas for different uses to keep more accurate records. This will let you record different crops, have multiple treatment areas and keep different livestock groups within one field.
Growing more than one crop in the same field
This is a feature that is requested a lot from our current users and we are excited to be able to provide a solution soon. Sub-fields will allow you to divide your fields to grow two or more crops in the same piece of land during one growing season.
As well as dividing the areas so that the map is correct you will also be able to keep your input records separate for each sub-field and have input requirements calculated for the area of the sub-field.
This feature will also be useful for vegetable and fruit farms that have lots of different types of plants together. In some cases growing multiple cropping can reduce the risk of weed growth, pest and disease infestation reduces because of mutual relationship within the crop (source).
Changing plans after crop failure
As a grower sometimes you will need to change your plan due to crop failure. For example as a result of damage caused by flooding.
A field that was originally planted with a winter crop can be flooded and the crop can die off in particular areas of the field. The farmers next step might be to re-plant the failed area with spring wheat. You can use sub-fields to map the area for both crops and keep a separate history of treatments applied, inputs used and eventual yield.
Maximising the efficiency of grazing
Paddock division for rotational or mob grazing is a way that you can improve efficiency of grazing. By dividing your field/paddock into multiple smaller sections you can achieve better utilisation of available pasture by utilising high stocking densities that are moved frequently. Read more and how you can do this here.
Our new sub-field feature lets you easily divide big fields up into smaller areas and move herds around these areas. Historic details for reports on fieldmargin will be saved as part of the smaller section and the larger field.
Permanent electric fencing can be used to supply a live wire around the farm boundary or along sections of the fields. From these points, it is possible to then attach temporary lines from the permanent fence. When you move fencing or reduce the size of the areas you can easily update the splits so that you keep your records accurate. The area of sub-fields can be changed as many times as you need over a season.
Photo credit James Drummond
Mapping environmental features and recording stewardship
You can use this new sub-field feature to keep accurate areas and records for farmed areas and environmental focus areas for schemes such as HLS, Countryside Stewardship or ELMS.
For example, if for an agreement you have to grow a 6m wildflower strip you can use the margin feature to set this up in seconds. You can tailor it to your needs by choosing the width that you need for your field.
On the side bar you will be able to see the total area of the margin. You can also use this information for ordering product using Field Jobs. For example you can work out how much seed you might need to purchase for the wild flower strip.
A different example is marking our areas for a beetle bank to provide a wildlife habitat. This information will be ready for when you need it at inspection time or for reporting.
Calculating an accurate field area so you can use the right amount of spray
On many farms there are areas in fields that you do not grow crops on because they are unsuitable or you are part of agreements not to grow on them. By using sub-fields to remove these areas you can calculate a working area of a field for your spray calculations rather than using a total field area. This can helps ordering the correct amount of fertiliser and sprays for the year ahead, avoiding overapplication and saving you money.
Last year we spoke to users who told us that by taking the time to map out an accurate spray area they have been able to reduce the amount of product they need to buy and apply, saving them a substantial amount of money. Find out how this was done in this user case study.
Sub-fields is coming soon for PLUS and PRO. Read more about our subscriptions here.