Today’s Technology Grows a Better Future for Farm Families

Technology for better farm future:

JUST AFTER BRYAN Biegler planted his corn and soybeans four years ago, his farm was flooded by a three-inch rain in less than an hour. Biegler cultivates around 2,500 acres in southwest Minnesota, the core of the farm has been in his family since 1886. After that heavy rain, a field was so full that he had to replant almost everything. "I decided that I needed to make a change," he said. It was time to grow better.
At that time, I was planting crops without cover, a sustainable practice in which farmers, instead of leaving bare land between seasons, plant other crops to help reduce soil erosion. Since then, he has been playing with several methods, and now he has a system that he believes is sustainable in the long term.
.Biegler walks fast, but speaks of the deliberate and flat way of the inhabitants of Minnesota. It is a living illustration of the fact that sometimes the best cultivation methods are those that have been practiced for generations. Crop rotation and the use of cover crops have been around for a long time, and many of today's farmers are incorporating these techniques as part of other modern farming practices. The result: a harvest of benefits for both farmers and the environment.
An important innovation for Biegler is stripe tillage, planting only on an eight-inch wide strip. Leaving the soil intact between the rows helps reduce soil erosion, improves water infiltration, uses less fuel and improves soil quality by allowing the soil to retain nutrients.
After the main corn crop is planted and begins to grow, Biegler returns with a planter that helped design and place cover crops such as oats, turnips, rapeseed or cereal rye. "It puts another live root in the corn," he says. These roots help prevent the type of erosion he experienced during that great ravine four years ago. In other words, combining the techniques of previous generations with modern innovation has proved to be a great advantage for the sustainability of your farm.
For the fall harvest, the cover crop is 8 to 12 inches tall. "So I have a pretty green cover," says Biegler, "and that field stays green until temperatures drop steadily until 20." It becomes inactive during winter; then in the spring it begins to grow again and the cycle begins again.
The implementation of sustainable agriculture techniques and the focus on soil health has allowed farmers like Biegler to minimize the use of pesticides and fertilizers while improving the environment. A long-time crop rotation practitioner, he plants half of his fields in corn, the other half in soybeans, and changes fields every season. By rotating your crops, you reduce insect pressures and crop diseases, and reduce your needs for chemicals such as herbicides. "If you sow corn season after season, you can get certain diseases and insects, and you can't control it so easily." In other words, "switching to soy eliminates the insects that were in the previous corn crop: rotation breaks the pest cycle." naturally."
Biegler is also looking to the future to help him adapt to changing conditions and protect natural resources with the latest technology. With the help of biotechnology, it has reduced its tillage and use of herbicides. The precision of today's automatic steering tractors, which means less wasted miles, has also reduced their use of fertilizers. All these adjustments have increased Biegler's efficiency and decreased its environmental impact. “My input costs have dropped from when I was doing all the farming. My performance is maintained, and maybe it's going up a bit now."
What does Biegler foresee for the future? “I think I am on a better path to where I am going with things. I hope to have everything here for when the children are ready to take care if they want to.” With three young children and deep roots in this agricultural country, Biegler will continue to adapt, combining what Best of old and new techniques to grow better and protect your land for the next generation.

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