Producer Profiles tell the stories of Inland Northwest farmers who are adopting innovative practices that restore soils and reduce inputs, from no-till and precision agriculture to crop management using data from unmanned aerial vehicles. In the process, farmers are storing soil carbon and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
To implement new practices, farmers need a certain level of confidence that those practices will work. Successful agricultural models created by other farmers build such confidence. Producer Profiles relate farmers' experiences in an accessible, storytelling fashion to show how advanced practices are improving returns and the long-term viability of farm operations.
UAVs in Agriculture: Idaho farmer Robert Blair is pioneering the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in agriculture. Sensors mounted on UAVs collect highly detailed crop data, such as chlorophyll levels and the vegetation index, a measure of the live vegetation on a piece of ground. The data can guide management decisions and make irrigation and fertilizer application more effective. Read the full story here.
No-till agriculture in a low-moisture area: No-till agriculture was long thought to be impossible in the very low rainfall area of North Douglas County, Washington, but Douglas Poole has proven otherwise. Poole grows soft white wheat in a no-till system, which has improved soil health on his land and opened the way to crop diversification. Read more here.
Building no-till agricuture through premium marketing: Since Fred Fleming and Karl Kupers co-founded Shepherd's Grain in 2002, the farmer-owned company has been selling high quality flour made from wheat grown with no-till practices, drawing premium value by marketing the value of no-till to their customers. The story of rebuilding soil health has won favor among leading bakers and restaurants in the Northwest. Read the full story here.
Taking a middle road on precision ag and tillage: Josh Jones is using subsoiling and liming to rebuild soil structure on his farm near Troy, Idaho, land that was farmed with conventional techniques for over a century. He also uses inexpensive precision ag technology to optimize fertilizer applications. Read more here.
No-till pioneer still exploring new frontiers: John Aeschliman was one of the first to use no-till agriculture on the Palouse, where he began experimenting with the practice in the mid-1970s on his farm near Colfax, Washington. Since then, soil health has greatly improved and he is able to grow crops like corn without irrigation because his no-till fields have accumulated a deep moisture column. Read more here.