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Meet a Farmer – John Thiel March 31, 2011

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Meet John Thiel, local farmer. He shares about his family farm and what he appreciates about agriculture.   

Meet a Farmer – Scott & Tracie Isler March 28, 2011

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Meet Scott & Tracie Isler.  They share a quick snapshot about their family farm.

Equipment Preparation for Spring Planting March 26, 2011

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Farmers are busy with annual maintenance on field equipment.

Local farmer, Scott Carter, is preparing for the spring planting season.  He has his air seeder for soybeans in the shop to do yearly maintenance.  This is the time of year, that many farmers are maintaining and repairing their tractors, planters, and all other field tillage equipment.

Scott shares that the maintenance tasks he performs range from simple oil changes in the tractor to assuring that on-board equipment computers are functioning properly.  Check out the soybean air seeder technology that Scott shows.  Today’s farmers use many different types of technologies to make their farms more efficient.

Pre-Planting Planning March 24, 2011

Posted by jprettyman99 in Project Updates.
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Meet the local farmer that will be planting and harvesting the Follow Farming plot of land, Nathan Smith. Nathan’s family has been farming for many generations. While he has more acres today, this 10-acres is the first piece of land that he farmed while still in high school.

Nathan talks us through some of the decisions he makes during the winter months in order to be ready for spring planting. To begin the process he maps the crop yields from previous years and learns about any new varieties of corn or soybeans that are being introduced. Morral Companies is one company that assists him with decisions by providing information.

Brandon McClure at the Morral Companies is an advisor for local farmers like Nathan. Brandon assists local farmers with their pre-planting decisions. His role is to listen to what the farmer is trying to achieve on a specific field, understand what has grown well in the past, and know what problems (i.e. low crop yield, pests) the land may have had in the past. Ultimately, it is the farmer’s decision but Brandon will make recommendations in areas such as fertilizer, seed selection, and micro nutrients.

Grid sampling of the field is one example of a technology that is used today to show the farmer what nutrients need to be applied to what specific areas of the field. The plants (i.e. corn or soybeans) can only use so many nutrients so anything more than what is needed is just an over abundance.

Pre-planting planning is critical for farmers. These decisions are ensuring that they are not wasting resources, being good environmental stewards, and have an economically viable business plan for the year. So while it may look like nothing is sprouting in the fields, farmers are making LOTS of critical decisions.

Update on Field Conditions March 21, 2011

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A quick stop at the field today showed that field conditions are starting to dry out.  The soil is looking good. When we walked out on the field, there are areas which are soft enough that you sink in an inch.  A few small areas of the field are starting to dry out enough that the top layer of soil is dry.   As farmers, we are five to six weeks away from planting.  Field conditions look good and we have no concerns about the soil at this time.

The next few weeks will busy for farmers in the Marion, Ohio area.  This is the time of year farmers are:

  • getting seed (corn and soybeans) delivered to their farm or picked up from the seed dealer
  • finalizing nutrient, weed control, and pesticide plans for the field, and
  • preparing tractors, planters and other equipment for the spring season.

Intro to Follow Farming March 9, 2011

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There’s snow on the ground but we have kicked off Follow Farming.  We’re going to take you on a journey from seed to harvest.  That’s corn and soybean seed to harvest of a grain field.