Asleep at the Wheel

November 4, 2017


Fall Tillage

Put the GPS on and take a nap, read the paper, eat lunch and relax.  With technology ever changing in this world it is just a matter of time when we will be able to do field work from the office.  Self- driving tractors are only a few years away and soon they will eliminate the most fun part of farming.  There is nothing better than being in the field doing fall tillage work while watching the ducks and geese fly and turning the ground over.  It is also one of the most important things to do especially where it was compacted from harvesting when the ground was so wet.  It is important to break up the compacted areas to ensure good drainage for next year’s crop.  To be successful one needs to understand the ground that he walks on.  Being a good steward of the land entails many things that the ordinary person might not understand.  Does an accountant go to work with a pencil with no eraser?  Does a doctor perform surgery with a dull scalpel?  Does a bartender work without an ice machine?  Well a farmer doesn’t plan for next year’s crop without doing his/her due diligence in the fall either.

Precision farming is becoming more and more important in an economic sense.  We can’t afford to be without it.  From fall tillage practices, planting cover crops, taking soil samples, seeding down buffer zones and high erosion areas, agriculture is more sophisticated today than it ever has been.  Do you realize I said all this and didn’t even mention GMO’s?  GMO’s are for another month… maybe a series of months.  So as I sit in the tractor, while my job is still there, I think and strategize what our next steps will be to remain competitive in the vegetable world.  I look back on the challenges that faced my dad and what faces us now and they are two completely different animals.  To stay competitive we have to be on the leading edge of technology and how we go about it is a difficult decision.

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