You reap what you sow


Seeding Fall Rye.JPG

Each year we go to AgDays with an agenda of things to see and sessions to attend, and lots of time for socializing.  This year one of our “look for” items is going to be blockage monitors for our seeder. Currently, we manually check and visually inspect for blocked seed runs.  However, this means that we run the risk of having an undetected blocked seed run which results in a missing row of seeds and a higher seed rate in adjacent runs. Last year was our first year running our current seeder, so we learned through the process and this year we will be looking to add blockage monitors to improve our seeding efficiency.

Of course, increased monitors mean increased cost and complexity.  However, we hope that reduced down- time for manual inspections and increased seeding precision will improve our crop health and thus improve our yields.

DJI_0192.JPG

If you know of an AgDays booth we should stop by to help us with our monitors, please send us a direct message or drop us a comment.  

Or, if you just have a cool booth that you want us to check out, let us know that too! Just tag @FarmFemmes on your social media post… See you soon.



Eye in the Sky

We got the chance to get some drone photos at Vallotton Farms and ran into a great problem - it was super sunny!  So, now I need to learn a bit more about how to change my exposure settings, but learning is fun when you are motivated by a real-world problem.  (Even on the last week of school, I still remember the principles of learning 101.)  

Drone Vallotton farms 2.jpg

All of our DJI drone and GoPro footage will turn into videos so we can share even more of our farm adventures with you - stay tuned.

Zero Till

Now that all our seeds are in the soil and we have shifted from #plant18 to #grow18, it seems like a good time to look back at some seeding pictures.  You may have noticed that some of our fields look a bit “messy”.  Zero till means that all of the organic matter (aka “trash”) from last year’s crop is still in the field.  Depending on the crop and the weather conditions, after one winter the trash is in various states of breaking down and returning to the soil.

Planting sunflowers into cereal stubble.

Planting sunflowers into cereal stubble.

Zero tilling into sunflower stalks

Zero tilling into sunflower stalks

What factors do farmers consider when deciding to zero till, or use tillage?

  • Not tilling the soil after combining means less equipment-passes over the field to work the leftover organic matter into the soil.  This results in less labour hours and less equipment hours, which saves fuel and wear and tear.

  • The amount of organic matter left after combining depends on the type of crop grown, and the plant development in any given year.  For instance, the amount of wheat straw and stubble left after combining depends on the thickness of the stand and the stalk height (influenced by variety and weather conditions). 

  • Leaving organic matter in the field helps to catch snow, which increases the moisture available in the spring.  This can be a benefit or a problem, depending on the soil type, winter snow accumulation and spring melt conditions.

  • Tillage is used as a physical mechanism for reducing weeds.

Zero till after canola was seeded

Zero till after canola was seeded

It is also worth noting, that farmers may use a combination of zero-till and tillage to maximize their land’s fertility and productivity, to influence water usage, or to manage compaction.  No one tillage solution is right for every farm, every farmer, every field or every year. 

Drone Pics

It goes without saying that seeding is a crazy busy time, which means today's post is light on words and big on photos.  Feel free to comment with photo ideas - or link us to your cool drone photos so that we can try to capture more unique and interesting shots.

Seeding soybeans

Seeding soybeans

Rolling the soybean field

Rolling the soybean field

Practice makes perfect???  Testing out auto tracking - haven't got it mastered yet.

Practice makes perfect???  Testing out auto tracking - haven't got it mastered yet.

Semi Truck BINGO

Today's BINGO road trip board is all about semi trucks.  My boys are obsessed with trucks, brand, style, paint jobs, sleeper, chrome pipes you name it they comment on it.  So, here is a road trip BINGO board for those of you who have passengers equally semi-obsessed.  

AND the competition continues for these BINGO cards- and there will be PRIZES!!!!

To enter for a FarmFemmes kids/youth safety shirt:

1. Take a selfie that shows 1 adult +  1 <18 year old + your BINGO sheet (printed or electronic)

2. Post it on Facebook or Instagram and tag @farmfemmes in your post

You can enter 1 time per day for the duration of the contest (March 19-April 2).  

BUT.... wait there is a BONUS, we will put your name in 10x if you take a photo of EACH item that got you to BINGO in a ADDITIONAL post on Facebook or Instagram and tag @farmfemmes in your post.  

We will give away 5 shirts!

Global Big Data Conference: Precision Ag

It's presentation day @ the Global Big Data Conference on Artificial Intelligence!  One of my favorite videos is today's because I just read this fun stat in the January, 2018 issue of Canola Digest that only 15% of farmers are using precision agriculture.  

This video shows how Deer Creek Farms of Morden, Manitoba got started in Precision Agriculture, and the results it had on the 2017 Canola harvest.  If you enjoy the video, please share it on Facebook or Twitter.  If you have your own precision ag story that you'd be willing to share with us please comment below or send us an e-mail.  

Global Big Data Conference: Precision Ag

Only 1 day left until we present at the Global Big Data Conference on Artificial Intelligence! 

We are sharing the videos this week that will be shown as part of the presentation.  If you like them we'd love your help.  Please share them on your Facebook or Twitter feeds, and subscribe to our YouTube channel...  Thanks!

2018 FarmFemmes Resolutions