Friday, July 26, 2013

Soyfoods Council Tour at the Blair Farm

We had a WONDERFUL tour out on our farm the other day. The Soyfoods Council had a group of dietitians, bloggers, authors, editors, and consumers from across the U.S. come to our farm! It was awesome to have people come and ask us questions about our farm.  I was honored to get to have them here.  I have a lot of respect for the people that came. It was really great to know that they want to learn where their food is coming from.  Another cool part of the tour was when they got a ride in our Caterpillar tractor.  AJ had it set up with auto steer to drive around the farm yard. 

Our main points we felt we wanted to give were the fact that technology really changes the way we farm. GPS helps us to precisely place fertilizer, spray chemical, and reduce compaction (by keeping the wheel tracks in the same place each time we go across a field). GPS also allows us to keep records for reference and documentation. This is important for us to learn from year to year of what has worked and what hasn't worked out in the field (by the use of yield maps, aerial photos, etc.). We don't just slather the farm in chemical or fertilizer. We need to understand where we place inputs and what the results are.

Another important point that we wanted to make was about the choices we get to make. The tour group went to a presentation on the science of GMOs before coming to our farm. On our farm, we grow both GMO and non-GMO crops. There is a market for both. There is a lot of controversy over GMO vs. non-GMO.  Farmers prefer to choose what works best on their farm.  We have the choice to use different types of tillage, different types of seed, different types of housing for our livestock, and the list goes on!

What questions do you have about agriculture?

The following photos are courtesy of Matthew Wilde, Senior Writer, Iowa Soybean Association.