2018 has been a challenging year for many farms across the agriculture landscape. We hope prices can come up across the board and that weather holds up for the end of the season. All of our clients got CAFO permits in to local officials and many are finding the way to implement farm improvements during tight times. Across the Midwest planting season was generally good however lack of rain has impacted many areas in Michigan.
2018 - Info Ag Conference
Took a trip down to the InfoAg conference in St. Louis, IL this year. Met many of the dynamic folks working on precision ag. Reviewing the various record keeping platforms available, precision Ag. equipment, precision ag software, and all the other tools on display, the importance of good data was clear. For every amazing map, layer of data, gps coordinate input, there is the simply fact that if the data is not good, who cares. Many tools are based on soil sample data, but there were many questions raised in daily presentations at the conference, questioning how quickly we have accepted that all of our soil test data is "good" data. Do you grid sample, zone sample, random sample, and why? There is some terrific technology out there, soil sensing equipment, precision guided planters, harvesters, and other interesting tools.
As we continue to work with our partners to integrate software on the farm it is important we understand where some of the precision ag. tools are headed. We want to help our clients utilize some of this data some of these technologies collect. To help you find actual value for the farm, for field management choices, including how better to identify where a farm might find more value when directing limiting financial resource. Attending these conferences and using several of the current record keeping software tools out on the market helps us improve services for our interested clients.
Continue growth and leadership in Vermont - Matt Kittredge (VT CAP-NMP planner) continues to improve on our services in Vermont. Working with a diverse group of farmers, Matt has improved FCS's CNMP and NMP processes in Vermont. Matt continues to help farmers meet LFO CAFO requirements, MFO annual permit compliance, NRCS funded Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans and NRCS Nutrient Management plans.
In Michigan we have had some successful permit inspections and project implementation and hope we get enough water to carry through to harvest. We continue to enjoy working with a diverse group of farmers throughout the state. We are busy with CAP-CNMP assessment and data collection, working on summer record keeping and preparing for harvest season.
NOTE for next years planning season: If your spring CNMP/NMP highlighted the need to soil sample fields for your 2018 - 2019 update, please make sure soil sampling is scheduled as we head into the harvest season. Get in touch with us if you need FCS to help with soil sampling or need a reminder about what fields need a new sample.