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Pre-Planting Planning March 24, 2011

Posted by jprettyman99 in Project Updates.

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.



1. Chip Nelson - March 25, 2011

This is a great explanation of the environmental stewardship that farmers practice each and every year. Using the technology available to assure the land is not over saturated with nutrients that are not needed, is best for both farmers and the environment.

Great job.

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