At Silver Reef Organic farms we pride ourselves on seeing the big picture, creating an action plan, and being willing to invest in the latest technology in order to fully understand our soils and run the farm efficiently and sustainably. By using the best of the best technology, from drone technology, FieldNet variable rate irrigation, tier 4 tractors with GPS technology, Granualr, a farm management software, and the Precision Agriculture Technology from John Deere, we will increase efficiency while in the fields, have more awareness of costs, and save time. This is all in addition to having a lower ecological footprint by creating less carbon emissions.
We started using drone technology in 2017 to monitor field and crop health weekly. Our drone uses infrared imagery to give us a “green index” of our crops. This shows us where there are areas of concern and where areas are thriving. The Drone technology has served as another way to decrease labor cost and fuel costs. We have been able to have a broader view on the effects that weather has on the crop, growing season, and other factors. Drone technology has been essential to our success to making sure we hit our budgeted yields each year. It will also serve as an essential tool as we implement Precision Agriculture going forward.
FieldNet is our web-based tool that we use to manage our water on the farm. This wireless management tool allows us to shift, change, or pivot any of our irrigators whether we are in the field or in the office. We are alerted right away of a pivot loses water pressure or stops running. We are also able to set how much water is being placed on each field right from the app as well as decide if we want different amounts on different parts of a particular field. With this, each acre can be customized. This water management tool saves Silver Reef Organic farms water, time, and resources, creating a more sustainable and efficient watering system.
Having GPS technology allows our tractor operators to stay within one to two inches of a row resulting in straight lines. Whereas in the past, row accuracy was heavily dependent on the operator keeping the tractor straight which resulted in extra passes over a field, yield loss at harvest, more labor and fuel costs. With GS3 Technology from John Deere we make less passes over field, along with saving time and fuel, wear on equipment, lower labor costs, and last but not least carbon emissions.
Granular is the farm management tool we use at Silver Reef Organic farms. Granular assets us I create crop plans, understand what’s driving profitability, and helps us make informed farming decisions. As a team we are all able to be on the same page beaus we can assign tasks to each of our employees and they can share when tasks are complete. With over 20 fields it is a lot to manage, but with this software we are able to keep up with ever action that is been executed in each field, the shop, and in the office.
All of these systems have made it possible for Silver Reef Organic farms to dive into Precision Agriculture. Precision Agriculture is the future of our farm and we are very excited to operate at an even higher level than we do now.