On August 19th, I had the pleasure of attending the Butler County Farm Bureau’s Legislative Tour. The event was hosted by Cory and Nikole Stuchal of Stuchel Custom Ag Services. While this farm is not part of the Butler County Farm Tour, it got me excited about our event, and as a city-loving girl, it was very enlightening. Some fun facts that I learned:
- Modern farming equipment is HUGE!
- It’s not cheap. One tractor with an attachment can be half a million dollars!
- Agriculture is VERY technological. The equipment tracks every single seed planted. GPS allows for very straight rows - 30 inches apart. Next year, you split the difference and it’s within one inch of accuracy.
- Everything is automated too. Whether you’re going 1 MPH or 10 MPH, output is even. In cases of fertilizer where you might need more or less in a given area, you can pre-map that out and the equipment follows suit. It even auto-steers!
- Aside from obvious challenges like weather and pests, farmers face many other difficulties such as high costs and low revenue; the dangers of moving equipment in the presence of impatient drivers; drainage of dense Pennsylvania soil; legislative issues and more.
- This may not be the case with every farm, but the Stuchals actually rent land from more than 70 different people. The 2,200+ acres they farm are spread over multiple counties. Just managing landlords sounds like a huge job!
- This may be just me, but when I think of corn, I think of corn on the cob. Their corn is actually used mainly for ethanol.
- Oddly, radishes can smell like natural gas when they freeze.
Cory was filled with stats and information - even a powerpoint presentation and drone footage. Which reminds me of another fun fact: drones are very helpful for farmers. Rather than walk every single acre, they can get in there with a camera and then only walk to trouble spots.
I just want to thank their family and the Farm Bureau for hosting this event. I encourage everyone to attend the Farm Tour coming up October 1st. Agriculture is a very important lesson to learn. Farmers produce our food, and so much more. It’s not an easy job, but somebody’s gotta do it!