Scouting is undoubtedly one of the main shields that protect farmer's investments from different risks. Beyond that, it pays off significantly. Before the development of technology, farmers would come to their fields only for planned activities throughout the season. But this is not the option anymore. To be successful in modern farming, growers have to recognize the value crop scouting offers for investment protection. But why is that so necessary?

According to The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN), an increasing number of agriculture advisors (https://eos.com/products/crop-monitoring/for-advisors/) and investors are looking for different ways that will help them mitigate risks connected to climate change. And the best way to do so is to take advantage of sustainable agriculture technologies, including innovations designed for scouting specifically.

Let’s see what these innovations are and how exactly they help agriculture investors to protect their inputs.

The Role of Modern Scouting Apps in Investments Protection

Scouting is often perceived as a seasonal activity that only lasts from seedling to the crop reproductive stages. That is when growers usually scout for diseases, weeds, and insects. However, this may not be enough for keeping the farm efficient and increasing yields, hence ensuring higher return on investments. 

To stay competitive on the modern agricultural market, it’s best to start scouting several months prior to even planting a crop. This approach enables detection of any issues that may threaten crops health in advance. Scouting the field “off season”, growers can do planning, research and prepare the field for the next crop by eliminating risks beforehand. Luckily, modern technology makes this process much easier, particularly thanks to the possibilities that GPS, drones, and satellite imagery offer. Here is how this works.

There are a variety of online platforms for scouting, powered by AI and machine learning. They collect data from various sources and make it accessible and already analyzed for users in one place. This includes information on weather and vegetation that even the most non-expert users can understand. What’s more, by analyzing all of this data, growers can share it, create tasks, send out scouts to particular areas of the field, and receive feedback. This allows for precise and remote field monitoring all year round, helping agronomists save both time and money by just scouting optimization. Let’s see why it’s critical to keep track of your crops' health regularly and not just during planned field activities.

The Importance of Regular Scouting

Here are the reasons why regular field inspection is of great importance when protecting agriculture investments.

Pest Management

One of the most important things to consider when protecting agriculture investment is yield potential. And one of the pillars that high yields stand on is regular pest management. For example, if crop scouting is performed once a month, it may not be enough to spot an insect or disease that could develop in a couple of weeks. It means that now the disease or pest is already harder and more expensive to manage. Overall, it’s both yield and money loss.

Preparation for the Next Season

Scouting is also a great tool when preparing the field for the next season. There are issues like potassium or iron deficiency that can be detected only late in the growth stage or early in the season, respectively. Performing scouting before planting will allow for decreasing the risk of these issues occurring by making crop rotation and fertilizer application decisions beforehand.

Crop Performance Evaluation

Regular crop scouting gives an opportunity to analyze whether or not the target yield for the crop has been reached. And if not, it allows for identifying the reason, be it poor seed quality, diseases, equipment issues, or anything else.

Ultimately, to stay competitive and effective in the modern agriculture market, farmers need to perform actions and make decisions timely and effectively to provide a high return on investment. And scouting software is a helping hand in doing so thanks to high precision, analysis, and overall field inspection optimization.