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GPS technology helps farmers save time and money


Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Farmers, like everyone else, have seen great advances in technology that help to make their work easier, and to save time and money. Recently, the farming community has been able to utilize satellite technology in ways they never imagined.

Global Positioning Systems (GPS) have been used in vehicles for a while now, and have made maps almost obsolete. Finding your way in this world has never been easier. But farmers have found there is more to the GPS than finding your way, and they can be extremely useful in the field.

The system has been around for about ten years to be used in tractors, and they are being used more and more. A person used to have to buy the system as well as the harness to have it installed. According to Scott Trouten from Preston Equipment, tractors and combines are now coming from the factory ready to accept the system.

Trouten said they are selling more and more of them all the time for the John Deere tractors that he sells. John Deere is not the only one. Tony Heiden of 660 Agronomic Analysis is a Pioneer Seed dealer, and he is also the only Ag Leader dealer in Fillmore County. His company also sells several of the GPS systems every year.

"It's amazing what they can do," said Heiden. "They're very multi-operational."

Trouten also mentioned the fact that there are many uses for the GPS out in the fields. He said it can be used when planting corn, for field documentation, and for combining.

Chris Hahn owns a farm outside of Preston, and he just recently installed the GPS system in his John Deere tractor. He has found that it has made a big difference in his work.

"It keeps track of where you are in the field," explained Hahn. "Also where each corn hybrid is."

Hahn said the system can save on seed by shutting each row off individually. This can save up to seven percent on seed corn, as it keeps the farmer from over-planting. It can give the user a yield map to keep track from year to year how each field is doing.

The system can also be used when spraying a field. Hahn explained it can control the sprayer so he doesn't double spray or spray into water ways. The ravines in the corn field can be mapped out on the GPS so the planter or sprayer skips over them, and there is no waste.

"It's very helpful," said Hahn, who farms 1,100 acres with his dad, Randy Hahn. "It makes the days a lot easier."

Trouten said it's not for everybody. The system can be expe .....
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Spring Valley farmer is Gold Country Seed "Picture Your Success" winner

Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

A farmer from Spring Valley, Minn., was recently chosen the winner in Gold Country Seed's "Picture Your Success" drawing. Ralph Tart received $1,000, and chose the Spring Valley-Wykoff FFA to receive an additional $1,000 donation from the company.[Read the Rest]

Farm Service Agency News

Fri, Apr 23rd, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Direct and Counter Cyclical Program (DCP) Deadline June 1, 2010

You can sign-up online or at local USDA Service Centers until Tuesday, June 1, 2010. This deadline is mandatory for all participants. FSA will not accept any late-filed applicati ..... 
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Best Acetochlor management

Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has revised the "Water Quality Best Management Practices for Acetochlor". These voluntary Best Management Practices (BMPs) were developed to address the presence of acetochlor and its breakdown products ..... 
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POET Biorefining to hold POET tree poetry contest for local students

Fri, Apr 9th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Area students are invited to submit nature-inspired poems for the POET Tree poetry contest in honor of Arbor Day. Each leaf in a tree is a biorefinery, drawing energy from the sun. At POET, we find inspiration in nature's efficiency, and Arbor Day i ..... 
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Wetland Grant Applications Sought Through May 20

Wed, Apr 7th, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

(Kansas City, Kan., April 6, 2010) - Proposals for Wetland Program Development grants to develop effective, comprehensive programs for wetland protection and management will be accepted through May 20, 2010, from states, tribes and local governments. ..... 
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2010 Fillmore County land rent survey

Fri, Apr 2nd, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

I was very pleased with the response to the Fillmore County Rent Survey and would like to thank all those who responded. In particular, I would like to thank Tammy Martin, FSA director, for doing the mailing with the FSA newsletter. I also need to t ..... 
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Mark Holmen elected as MN Angus Association Vice President

Fri, Apr 2nd, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Mark Holmen, Fountain, Minnesota, was elected by the Minnesota Angus Association Board of Directors to the position of vice president at their annual meeting. The meeting, and other activities, were held in Cannon Falls, Minnesota, March 6 and 7, 20 ..... 
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2009 Minnesota Ag statistics

Fri, Apr 2nd, 2010
Posted in Agriculture

Each year I receive a copy of the Minnesota Ag Statistics. In the past, I've tended to focus on where Fillmore and Houston County rank amongst the other counties in the state in various commodity areas. I could always count on Fillmore being number ..... 
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