This week we’re highlighting another response from a GFN Board member and his views on sustainability in agriculture. Terry Wanzek from North Dakota is a 4th generation farmer in a family partnership growing a variety of crops. As if farming isn’t time-consuming enough, Terry was also elected to the State Senate in North Dakota. Of recent note, Wanzek flew to Washington, DC to talk about the importance of trade with officials at the White House (Wanzek meets with White House officials on trade – The Jamestown Sun, June 16, 2018) – more on this in an upcoming post. Also, Terry makes a new and key point about sustainability at the end of his first answer – check it out below (and if you have thoughts about it leave a comment).
Global Farmer Network Board member – Terry Wanzek, Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
Question: What is your definition of sustainable farming?
Answer: Efficient, modern, responsible and mostly profitable farming. Achieving the maximum output possible with a minimum of necessary inputs , using modern technology, all the while protecting and enhancing the natural resources that are entrusted to us. If it is not profitable, it will not be sustainable.
Question: What farming practices are you using on your farm today that helps the sustainability of your farming operation and the soil that you are farming on?
Answer: Minimum till and No till, Variable rate fertilizing and variable rate seeding. GPS and mapping using auto steer etc. Also using auto calibrating yield data collection on our new JD combines. Using section control or swath control on our precision modern JD sprayers and/or planters and seed drills. Precision farming with prescript maps developed from data collection. And of course biotechnology and much improved crop genetics.
Question: Where do you get information about sustainable farming practices that are appropriate for your farm?
Answer: Climate Fieldview. Ag data mapping solutions. Our own yield data collected by our harvesters. Aerial imagery. Mostly vendors and private agronomist and personal data collected.
Question: How do you determine what practices work best on your farm?
Answer: Through measured performance results gleaned from our own yield data.
Question: Are there specific technologies that will support the sustainability of your farming operation?
Answer: Mostly variable rate fertilizing and variable rate seeding. Precisely placing the fertilizer rates and seed rates where it will result in the best result maximizing yield potential.
Question: Do you share sustainable farming practices that you use with other farmers? If yes, how?
Answer: Yes we have. Sharing Climate Fieldview technology with other farmers.