Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

August 9, 2013

Field day focuses on a systems approach to equipment


Greensburg Daily News

---- — INDIANAPOLIS – For Madison County farmer Mike Shuter and his sons, Brian and Patrick, the right equipment isn’t about having the latest and greatest for their farming operation.

This Conservation Cropping Systems Initiative (CCSI) producer who has been no-tilling for 30 years is all about finding ways to make the farm more productive.

“Bag to Bin: Equipment Modifications and Management for a Conservation Cropping System,” the Sept. 4 field day on Shuter Sunset Farms, highlights the equipment side to sustainable farming. The day is designed for farmers, equipment dealers, and those who are interested in learning about equipment modifications and adjustments that work for strip-till, no-till and cover crop systems, including on-the-fly variable rate application (VRA) side-dress.

“I hope farmers and landowners in the agricultural community will join us to see how we’ve been able to use the latest equipment and technology to better manage our soil health and fertility,” said Shuter.

“We are trying to develop better soil health by managing our inputs to produce a more sustainable corn and soybean crop to help feed the world on into the future while maintaining and improving the quality and health of the soil we are here on earth to manage,” he added.

The day will start at Shuter Sunset Farms (located one mile east of Frankton and one-half mile south on CR 400 West). Shuter, along with Indiana USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service State Soil Health Specialist Barry Fisher, AgLeader’s Mike Olson, and Mark Slabaugh, Oxbo, will be on hand to discuss the modifications made to the farm’s equipment. Equipment highlights include a 24-row Nitrogen toolbar Shuter and his sons built equipped with AgLeader’s OptRx toolbar.

The 24-row Nitrogen toolbar that the Shuters built is mounted on a Miller Nitro sprayer equipped with an AgLeader OptRx and InCommand systems to variable rate nitrogen based upon on-the-fly measurements system. Mounted on a Miller Nitro sprayer, the toolbar permits the Shuters to apply nitrogen far beyond the normal sidedress window - allowing them to “spoon feed” nutrients when growing corn crops need them most.

Another adaptation to the Shuters’ sprayer is a 90-foot high clearance seeder which they use to plant cover crops into standing corn and soybeans. Also unusual to the farm is the adaptation of precision ag technology across a variety of platforms: while the Miller sprayer is equipped with AgLeader equipment, the John Deere planting tractor is equipped with a mixture of precision planting and AgLeader technology. This equipment and others will be on display at the farm.

At noon, the event moves to the Frankton United Methodist Church Community Center, located at 110 S. 8th Street, for lunch and afternoon sessions. These presentations include management strategies for the type of cropping system used by the Shuters, the development of management zones using Veris technology, prescription application of nutrients, and multi-year planning of cover crops.

Daryl Starr, founder and CEO, Advanced Ag Solutions, completes the day with a presentation on comprehensive nutrient strategies, including use of GreenSeeker a system similar to OptRx, to measure cover crops.

Registration is free, but reservations are required by August 29 for lunch counts. The day begins at 9 a.m. (EDT). Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) have been approved. Private Applicator Recertification Program (PARP) and Continuing Certification Hour (CCH) credits have been requested.

The field day is sponsored by the CCSI, Madison County Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the Purdue Cooperative Extension Service, the Lilly Creek and Little Duck Watershed Projects, and the Upper White River Watershed Alliance.

Register online or call the Madison County SWCD at 765.644.4249, ext. 3, by August 29. Shuter Sunset Farms is located at 7400 N., 400 W. Frankton, Ind., 46044. The farm is located one mile east of Frankton and one-half mile south on CR 400 West. The Frankton United Methodist Church Community Center is located at 110 S. 8th St., Frankton, 46044 (in town, located west of Shuter’s).

– Daily News