Whether we are working on our own land or on rented land, our goal is always to conserve and protect the land to the best of our ability. In doing so, we utilize the services of a certified crop consultant. He regularly takes soil samples, scouts fields for weeds and insects and also takes nutrient tissue samples. All of these cropping components have allowed us to only use chemicals and fertilizer on an as-needed basis. Another important aspect of our conservation practices is our Nutrient Management Plan, which is used to monitor our application of poultry litter and beef manure.
We strive to utilize the most current technology with our field equipment. We utilize GPS guidance systems in our poultry litter truck, combines, tractors and sprayer. Since we have started gridding our farms we can use variable rate spraying and also use it in fertilizer applications. The spray booms have Pinpoint technology, which runs off of the GPS system to allow each nozzle to cut off independently as needed. In addition to this our JD 8270R tractor that is used to pull the Horsch Maestro corn planter has row command, which helps minimize over planting at the end of the rows.
The majority of our crops are planted no-till and the rotation consists of 5000+ acres of corn, soybeans, sorghum and small grains.
Small grain production is dual purpose in that it prevents soil erosion and it is a valuable feed source for the cattle. Our goal is to put cover crops or small grain on all of our crop land. We use different products from vetch to rye, crimson clover and rape seed.