|Joe setting up one of the planter's monitors|
|Loading planter with seed corn.|
|Yes, three grown men can fit in a tractor cab.|
We use GPS equipment to run the shut offs on our planter. You have to remember because of our rolling land we farm on the contour - meaning we farm around a hill not up and over. This helps with soil preservation. Anyway, our planter is 16 rows (40 feet) wide and when we plant on the contour Dad needs to be able to shut off rows quickly to avoid double and triple planting parts of a field and save money on very expensive seed. With GPS, the computers on the equipment shut off and turn on the rows as need be. We also do some variable rate planting. This means we vary the seeding rate of the seed corn across a field based on yield potential and soil fertility. This is also controlled by computers and the GPS equipment is necessary.
|Trying to figure out why the GPS equipment won't work!|
At one precision ag forum I was reading this morning there were farmers commenting on our same problem from Texas to northwest Minnesota and Kansas to Illinois. At least we were in good company. Our problem was geomagnetic activity. Yep, it went right over my head as well. What it amounts to is that the sun is messing with our planting season! I am now signed up for Geomagnetic A-Index of 100 or greater, Geomagnetic K-index of 6, 7, 8, and 9 Alerts and Warnings through NOAA and the Space Weather Prediction Center. Really. I am not making this up.
I have heard the phrase "A slave to technology" mentioned before. I think we might be at that point.