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View from the Cab: Oh the choices

Farmers have plenty of choices when it comes to managing data.

From nitrogen recommendations to anticipated production costs, there is software for just about anything these days. One technology startup is called AgSolver. This helps to improve environmental performance and allows precision business planning.

AgSolver’s Dave Muth was among the presenters at last week’s Indian Creek Watershed meeting in Fairbury. Sean Arians of the Climate Corporation spoke about Climate FieldView, which can now give nitrogen recommendations throughout the season. All of this data can be accessed from an iPad.

A new farm service program which caught my attention at last week’s meeting was Precision Conservation Management. The objective is to integrate conservation planning into farm business planning, according to Dr. Laura Gentry with the Illinois Corn Growers Association. PCM shows how conservation practices are impacting farm economics.

PCM was spearheaded by Illinois Corn but received wide support from the various agricultural commodity organizations in the state, such as the Illinois Soybean Association and the Illinois Pork Producers Association. Gentry says this is about addressing water quality issues proactively instead of reactively.

The Indian Creek Watershed summer meeting was another success with two busloads of people touring area farms to see what conservation practices are being used. After the late afternoon tour, we returned to the First Baptist Church in Fairbury for a delicious pork burger dinner and the evening program. The retiring Terry Bachtold of the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District was recognized along with Debbie Ruff who is celebrating 25 years with the district.

We lucked out in the weather department as Wednesday’s heavy thunderstorms in the late afternoon didn’t hit the Fairbury area until everyone boarded the buses to head back into town. Unfortunately, these storms downed a few tree limbs and caused some minor damage to a few local farmsteads.

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