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Coops: Helping Farmers With Technology

Published: Oct. 7, 2021 at 11:20 AM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - We talked with the Director of Professional Services at CVA recently about how coops are working to help farmers utilize technology in their operations.

Glen Franzluebbers says changes are constantly happening. “We are celebrating our 25th year of being in ag technology,” Franzluebbers said. “We’ve seen a lot of things evolve, and as fast as technology is changing, we are going to see the next 3 to 5 years pretty much blow away everything over the last 25.”

Right now, Franzluebbers says what CVA is focused on when it comes to technology is finding efficiencies for growers. “We want to help them increase yields, while utilizing technology and not over or under-applying ag inputs,” Franzluebbers said. “We are doing intensive soil sampling, and utilizing GPS to know where soil samples are taken. This allows us to use variable rate technology, to put the right amount of inputs in the right spot, in the right field, at the right rate. We are helping to protect the environment by doing some of those things. Another example is through irrigation. We need to protect the aquifer for future generations. We use an irrigation management program to utilize soil moisture probes to tell us the right amount of water to put on a field at the right time. That way, we are not over-watering, and protecting the aquifer.”

There are plenty of things farmers will want to keep an eye on in the future when it comes to technology. “Some of the things we are working on through emerging technologies is we are using drones for scouting,” Franzluebbers said. “We are using the technologies to identify nutrient deficiencies, weeds, and diseases. We are also working with autonomous vehicles in agriculture now. We are even working with pivot technology and pivot sensors to be even more efficient when it comes to irrigation.”

Cooperatives are not only helping farmers utilize technology, but they are an important employer in rural Nebraska. “The great thing about working for CVA or the cooperative system is it’s based locally,” Franzluebbers said. “There’s a lot of employment opportunities locally. And what we are doing is focusing on our local growers and local employees. We want our growers to be successful, we want our employees to be successful, and we want success for our local communities, too.”

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