2017 was an eventful year at Midplains Ag – especially for Ryan and Tiffany. Spring brought installation of a few more permanent moisture probes. Summer was all about raising crops: spraying, irrigating and managing pests. In August, we hosted our 2nd Irrigation Field day. In September, Ryan was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which fortunately, is treatable, and Ryan should have a full recovery. October month came along with Tiffany obtaining her crop insurance license. Yess! Then came November 7th, the big day that Ryan & Tiffany welcomed their new baby boy.
At our second annual “Irrigation Field Day”, we finally got to meet Ben Buckner, who has been providing a weekly marketing report for our blog. Dr. Olivia Kellner had a very well received presentation on climate change. Jain USA had another demonstration of their GeneSys Sprinkler. In addition, we had drone demos and about 30 vendors were present. The weather was beautiful, and we had a good day. Ryan and Hunter Baum (last summer’s intern) continued to work with precision ag and irrigation management. We had a three-year grant from the NRCS to work with irrigation management and intensive IPM. With that we have made a permanent installation of Acclima’s TDR moisture probes on our fields and we are using the AgSense Field Commander to send the information back to the office. To learn more check out moisture monitoring under Precision Ag below or visit our website.
The following graph shows the data we got from one field. Notice that the data starts in mid-April. Because we have a permanent installation, we have data from the entire year. This gives us a much better picture of how the soil moisture looks under different conditions.
Another big benefit is that these probes report moisture as a % water by volume. Most probes only give a relative value that must be converted to % water by volume to be useful.
The initial cost of these probes is a little higher but the long-term costs are lower because they don’t have to be removed and reinstalled every year.
Last year we started a weekly blog. Unfortunately, with Tiffany’s baby and Ryan’s lymphoma that has not been keep up recently. We plan to get started with that again. Check it out at our website www.midplainsag.com/about-us/blog.