How To View Data Side by Side in John Deere Operations Center

One of the benefits of having your data in the Operations Center is that it becomes easier to view the layers side by side. This allows you to see how the decisions you made throughout the year impacted the results on the yield map. It also allows you to see how the soil test results compare to the yield results in your field. You will see how easy it is to compare your yield map to your soil test results in a few steps.

For additional details for each step, check out our Knowledge Base.

  1. Start by bringing up a” Soil Test Results” layer within the Field Analyzer tool on the Operations Center website. This tool currently does not exist in the mobile app.If you do not have soil test results in your Operations Center, please contact VRAFY so we can discuss how to add them to your Operations Center Account.
  2. Next, click on the “Compare” button in the upper right.
  3. At this point, a second drop-down list will appear where you can choose your second layer. For example, we will compare the “Yield Layer” for Corn in 2023 against our soil sampling results.
  4. Once you view your layer, you can zoom in and out or move around the field, and both maps will stay coordinated. Our example shows that the soil K (Potassium) has been accumulating in the southern areas. Over the years, uniform application rates were used across the entire field. This practice inadvertently led to an excess buildup of potassium in this part of the field.

Comparing layers side by side is quite easy in the Operations Center and can help you visualize relationships between multiple factors and how they impact your yield.

If you do not have your soil test results or satellite imagery in the John Deere Operations Center, sign up with VRAFY today to get them added!

How To Do a Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Test

The Pre-Sidedress Soil Nitrate Test (PSNT) is a valuable tool you can use to optimize nitrogen fertilizer use in grain corn and corn silage production. Here is why collecting a PSNT is an important part of a nitrogen management plan:

  1. Nitrogen Optimization: The PSNT measures the amount of nitrate-nitrogen available in the soil when the corn is between 6-12 inches tall. This timing, combined with the crop’s rapid growth rate, allows time to adjust before the nitrogen gets to critically low levels.
  2. Cost Savings: If the PSNT indicates sufficient nitrogen levels, growers can skip additional applications, saving time and money. Conversely, if you can identify nitrogen deficiencies early enough, there is still enough time to address them to avoid serious yield loss.
  3. Previous Crops and Practices: Cover crops (both as a potential source and tie-up as they break down), manure, and previous legume crops are examples of why it is important to understand how these have impacted the overall nitrogen levels in your soil.

A PSNT is low-cost, especially compared to the expense of nitrogen and the potential yield loss from insufficient nitrogen. It is easy to collect, following the steps below.

  1. What to Bring: Head to the field with a soil probe, clean bucket, soil sampling bags, and marker.
  2. When to Go: About one week before side dressing. Ideally, it would be at least 3 days after any heavy rains, and without heavy rains in the forecast that could cause further nitrogen losses.
  3. What to Collect: Use your probe to collect 12-inch cores. Pull a core in the row, then every 3 inches as you move across to the next row. Repeat until you have 15-20 total cores in your sample. Collect at least one sample per field. It is recommended to pull the sample at 12 inches. You can even go as deep as 24 inches to determine how your nitrogen is moving through the soil profile.
  4. After Collecting: Label your soil sample bag with the required information on the bag. Mix the cores thoroughly and place them in the sample bag. After collecting, do not leave the samples in your vehicle. Keep them cool, or even better yet, freeze them, as hot temperatures can affect the readings. Fill out the lab submission sheet and send the samples to the lab ASAP.

Most labs will get your results back to you within 24 hours after they have received it. Many will offer recommendations based on the results if you provide a crop and yield goal on the soil test submission sheet. The general rule of thumb is that if the PSNT results are 25 or higher, there is a low probability of economic return from additional nitrogen. If the results are below 20, there is a good chance you will get a positive return on your investment by applying additional nitrogen. You can also contact your local extension office, as many have nitrogen return calculators specific to your state.

The Pre-Sidedress Soil Nitrate Test is one tool for understanding the fertility of your fields. If you combine that with management zones from VRAFY and regular soil testing, you have a powerful nutrient management tool to understand the complete fertilizer picture of your operation.

Benefits of Variable Rate Applications

One of the main focuses of fertility is avoiding the over-application of fertilizer leading to runoff into rural water systems like streams and rivers. Along with avoiding over-application, variable rate fertilizer applications have led to increased soil health while also increasing yield. By knowing where and how much to apply in each spot of your field, you will not only be able to save a lot more time for other projects on the farm, but you will also be saving money.

A benefit to variable rate applications would be high yield areas vs low yield areas. Every farmer knows of a few places in their crop production land where yield is just not as high as they would like it to be, whereas in other spots the yield is outstanding. With precision agriculture and variable rate applications, you can apply less or more nutrients to these spots depending on your needs. This can significantly cut back on fertilizer input leading to saving money and driving yield in those low yield areas.

Here at VRAFY, one of our goals is to help you improve yields and spend your fertilizer dollars more effectively. Depending on the soil sample and yield data you provide, VRAFY can produce variable rate fertility maps for most nutrients you may need to apply. These maps will be in a universal format and VRAFY can help you load them in your controller or share them with your custom applicator.

What’s New with VRAFY!

VRAFY, your trusted partner in precision agriculture, has been serving growers and dealers for over a year. As we continue to evolve, we are committed to enhancing value and empowering our growers. In this exciting update, we are thrilled to announce changes that will benefit you!

What’s New?

  • Price Drop: We are excited to announce a $1 reduction in VRAFY Complete pricing. Now, it’s only $4 per acre!
  • Soil Data Integration: We recognize the immense value of soil information. Starting immediately, VRAFY Basic now includes soil data capabilities.


1. VRAFY Basic: Visualize Your Data

What’s Included?

  • Upload Existing Soil Sampling Data: Seamlessly import your historical soil data.
  • View Soil Sample Data in the Operations Center: Visualize soil test results and spot trends.
  • Build Soil Sampling Plans: Create targeted sampling strategies.
  • Collect Your Own Soil Samples: Take control of your field sampling if you prefer to do it.
  • Satellite Imagery: VRAFY Basic still offers satellite imagery within the Operations Center.
    • Scout from Imagery: Identify issues and make informed decisions.
    • Create Prescriptions: Generate prescriptions from imagery for seeding, fungicide, or fertilizer.
  • Crop Removal Fertilizer Prescriptions: Automatically generate variable rate fertilizer recommendations from yield maps.
  • Affordable Pricing: VRAFY Basic remains at just $1 per acre.


2. VRAFY Plus: Empowering Growers

What’s Included?

  • Run Your Own Prescriptions: With VRAFY Plus, you are in the driver’s seat.
  • Formula Flexibility: Choose from a growing library of formulas (over 100 available).
  • Customize and Adjust: Fine-tune prescriptions to match your unique needs.
  • Visualize Prescriptions: See your prescriptions in the Operations Center before you send them to the field.
  • Soil Point to Yield Analysis: At season’s end, assess how soil test results correlate with actual yields.
  • Affordable Pricing: VRAFY Plus remains at just $2 per acre.


3. VRAFY Complete: Unleashing Agronomic Expertise

What’s Included?

  • Expert Guidance: Our agronomists are here to assist you:
  • Custom Prescription Support: We have you covered whether you need custom prescriptions or apply unique fertilizer blends.
  • Full Nutrient Management: Leverage our expertise for a comprehensive plan.
  • Management Zone Creation: We collaborate with you to develop soil sampling, seeding, and fertility management zones.


At VRAFY, we are committed to your success. These updates reflect our dedication to providing exceptional value. Join us as we empower growers, enhance services, and cultivate stronger partnerships.

How Satellite Imagery Can Improve Crop Production

Are you trying to figure out where your crop production acres are struggling? Satellite imagery might be the answer you are looking for. With satellite imagery, you can narrow down the areas where crop health is lower than your better areas. Satellite imagery goes hand in hand with variable rate fertility programs because you can sample those lower-yielding areas based on your satellite images and see if there is a fertility issue. Yield data also plays part in satellite imagery because there will be similar results regarding low-yield areas and low NDVI ratings.

Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) is used in precision agriculture to identify crop health, such as biomass, fertility, vigor, etc. NDVI uses near-infrared and visible red reflectance captured by sensors on Landsat satellite imagery. These images are useful because you can compare them throughout the growing season.

Satamap Vegetation Index (SVI) is similar to NDVI as it uses near-infrared and visible red reflectance. The scoring for SVI ranges on a 0-1 scale. Zero represents the least vulnerable (healthy area of your field). One represents the most vulnerable (unhealthy area of your field). It benefits you as a farmer because it represents variability to the acre so you can get an accurate representation of growth and biomass in your fields.

Canopy chlorophyll content (CCC) uses satellite remote sensing technology to evaluate the chlorophyll content in crops. CCC will benefit you because it can help detect deficiencies, crop growth and health, and disease pressure. VRAFY has plenty of options that give great comparisons to fertility, yield monitor data, etc.

Here at VRAFY, we are dedicated to giving you the opportunity to raise the best crop you can. With our satellite imagery data, you can compare different images created through NDVI, SVI, and CCC. These three, along with other satellite imagery options will allow you to see how your crop is going throughout the season. When comparing the data, you can make agronomic decisions that will lead to a healthier crop. Consult with your local VRAFY dealer today to learn about the benefits that satellite imagery can give to you and your farm.

How Valuable is Your Planting Data?

Have you uploaded your planter data yet?

You may have heard that the planting pass is the most important of the year, but have you considered how important the data from the planting pass has become as well? Now that many of you have put away the planter for the year, it is time to start looking at your planting data.

The first thing we need to do is get the planting data off the monitor. There is not much value to storing it on a monitor, on a bookshelf, or in a tractor. Luckily, many monitors automatically upload to cloud-based software platforms. If yours does not, export the data off the monitor and import it to the John Deere Operations Center or FieldView. If you are a VRAFY Plus or Complete customer, you can contact us, and we will help you use our simple file uploading tool, and we can take care of loading it for you.

Now that it has been uploaded, we need to look at it and make sure it is correct. Did you remember to change the varieties? Now would be the time to make any changes to varieties while they are still fresh in your mind. Also, check if the field names are correct. It is easy to correct both within the John Deere Operations Center.

Once you are done cleaning, it becomes easy to find ways to use it. For example, as you are out walking your fields, you can leverage the John Deere Operations Center Mobile App to bring up the planting maps to observe how varieties and seed treatments are affecting emergence. You could also bring up the planting speed map to compare the emergence and spacing at different planting speeds.

Having clean planting data will make yield analysis much easier at the end of the year. Comparing yield to variety, planting speed, population, and planting date all require accurate data entry.

If you are a VRAFY customer and need help uploading your planting data or using the John Deere Operations Center mobile app, please contact us.

How to Scout Using Satellite Imagery

On the farm, every decision you make is to either try to improve economically or efficiently. Why would crop scouting be any different? You’ve already made the decision to scout your fields, so why not do it in the most efficient way possible?

Satellite Imagery can cut your crop scouting time down drastically by showing you where you need to look in the field to find your potential problems. Using Satellite Imagery, you can typically see crop disease, weed pressure, weather damage, or nutrient deficiencies sometimes even before the naked eye.

Find out how you can use John Deere Operations Center Mobile with VRAFY to increase your crop scouting efficiency today!

How To Decide the Right Planting Population for Your Farm

Iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) is a yield-limiting factor on millions of acres per year. If you have been having issues with IDC, changing plant population might be for you. Various factors play into planting population. Moisture, nutrient availability, and disease pressure are examples of the difficulties you face when determining planting population.

Research done by universities has shown that bumping up the population in your weedy areas, as well as your iron deficiency chlorosis areas will help reduce the issue. Furthermore, reducing your population in low-ground areas where you have had white mold issues in the past will allow for the canopy to be open longer. This allows for more air-flow to get into the lower parts of the plant, reducing white mold pressure.

The general rule of thumb to consider when thinking about bumping corn population is 10 bushels per thousand. Until you are harvesting 10 bushels per thousand, you should be dropping your population, not bumping it. For example, if you are planting 28,000 plants per acre, your yield potential is 280 bushels per acre. Once you have reached that threshold, you can bump your population. Before doing this, you need to make sure your fertility is in the right place, especially potassium (6-8% base saturation).

When determining planting population, VRAFY can make your life as a farmer easier. Satellite imagery and yield monitor data can play a massive part in determining what populations you should run. For example, if you have been in a drought the past couple of years, you can use your uploaded data in VRAFY to see where you had issues. With this technology, you would find it applicable to cut back the population in those areas.

Uploading Data to Ops Center From Displays Other Than John Deere

If you have field data from planting, spraying, tillage, or harvest; chances are good that Operations Center can process this for you. You can upload data from most common ag displays, not just John Deere displays. If you’re not already signed up with Operations Center, don’t worry, it’s free and our team can help you get started!

Visit our Knowledge Base, then select Customer/Grower, then Operations Center Supported Monitors and File types.

If you need help getting your data uploaded, our data experts at VRAFY are happy to help. We can show you how to upload your data in the best way for your farm to set you up for future success. Whether you measure success in tracking varieties from planting to harvest, or using your soil data to track which nutrients affect your yield.

Get Started with VRAFY Today!

Transferring Your Farm’s Data into Ops Center

How do I move my farm’s data from Climate FieldView or another software company into John Deere Operations Center?

If you’re already using a farm data system that sends data to the cloud, can we just use that same data? Yes! Part of the reason VRAFY decided to use the Operations Center as our customer facing software is because it’s easy to use and easier to bring data in from any farm.

VRAFY has a team of data experts ready to help you create the software connections to easily move your data from your existing software into the Operations Center. We can also help to make sure that any prescriptions made with VRAFY can be ready for you to use, no matter what display it’s going into.

What does a Software Connection Do? A Data connection is an easy route to move data from one software to another. For instance, there is a connection for data retrieval from Climate FieldView. This connection then looks at your FieldView account every night, and if there has been new data added, it will then pull that data to Operations Center. This helps simplify your farm’s data management labor.

If you’re interested in getting started with VRAFY, we can help you get set up with your FREE John Deere Operations Center account.