Technology is a Young Farmer's Best Friend

February 27, 2013 05:33 AM

Jeremy Jack says the hardest part about being a young producer is when people underestimate what he can do with technology today. Jack farms 8,500 acres of cotton, corn, rice, soybeans and wheat in Belzoni, Miss., with his parents and sister. Through the use of technology, he believes he achieves more with less. For example, he has moved his farm to 100% variable rate twin row corn and bean seeding rates to make every acre reach the top of its potential.

"Even though I am a young producer, I feel that I am well equipped with technology and have a fresh though process compared to more seasoned producers," says Jack, who is the 2013 recipient of the Bayer CropScience Young Farmer Sustainability Award.

To help every acre reach the top of its potential, Jack has implemented extensive irrigation systems. Pads and slotted pipes, low-grade weirs, winter flooding, on-farm water storage, tailwater recovery, irrigation system surface and subsurface, shallow water management for wildlife and double lined polypipe.

"Jeremy has made it a top priority to modernize the farm in not only equipment, but also how he thinks about farming in general," notes Jim Reed, president of Guaranty Bank & Trust Company in Belzoni, Miss., and who has known the young farmer since grade school. "It is very interesting to hear Jeremy talk about what he has learned concerning seed planting populations, crop rotations, fertilizer programs and irrigation. He has a plan laid out each year for each crop and all data analyzed and put to use."

Sustainability is a key component to Jack’s mindset. "To me, sustainability is to safely and efficiently produce high-quality raw food and fiber commodities, to maximize profitability and to support our rural community," Jack says. "Our method of sustainability is sustainability in action. We believe with outreach and education we can make sustainability interesting and do a better job of educating urban areas."

Jack will soon be implementing a demonstration farm that will have a total water reclaiming system using flow meters, automatic relift pumps, reservoirs and water quality monitors. He hopes to make this part of his farm tour, and writes about new initiatives on the farm on his blog and the farm web site.

"We have ample opportunities as farmers to share what we are doing," he says. The farm has its own web site and blog, and hosts farm tours for urban neighbors.

"As an industry we have come a long way, but we have to do a better job of showing people outside the industry what we are doing," Jack adds.

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