Group 1 Period 3



Woodland Farm - Nick Hermanson


Woodland Farms has been running for over 140 years and was introduced to us by Nick Hermanson. They produce corn, soybeans, and turkeys. It is 4100 acres big. There are five semis used to haul their produce and they store everything on site. In the winters, they work in the shop, doing equipment repair, getting everything ready to go for the spring.


Crops:

Woodland farms harvest about 5-600 thousand bushels of corn and 70,000 soybeans a year. They harvest corn when it is at about 20 to 25% moisture, but for it to be stored at a safe content, it must be at 15%. Corn is still a living organism, so it can still go bad and rot, so this part is crucial. So when you see corn out in the fall, drying up and not being harvested, it is because the farmers are waiting for them to become dryer so it is easier to process without the risk of the corn spoiling.

You see that most farmers go out and plow their entire field, at Woodland Farms, they apply a method called strip till. This essentially is them farming only ⅓ of their land. They plant the corn in 30 inch rows, and spread manure in between the rows in the fall, then use a machine that tills (10 inches deep) the soil and puts down fertilizer as well. This way next year in the spring, they’ll have a deep black strip to plant in. Then they leave the existing corn stock standing, and this is done for erosion control, which is why they don’t till everything. They only till just where they are going to plant next years crop. Next spring, they till again, only 2 or 3 inches deep, with a little more fertilizer to warm up the soil, preparing it so it can get going earlier.

What makes all this work is the fact that the tractors plant themselves, there is a GPS receivers on the roof and a computer in the cabin, you click a button and the tractor will drive itself. All their equipment are spaced on 30 inch centers to support this system.


Crop Processing:

When the corn comes in, the weigh everything coming in and going out so they know how much they have in inventory. The trucks come in, drives over a metal gratings covering a put, where they pour the corn into them. There are a bunch of buckets that lifts the corn and moves it to where they need it to go. They use a PLC based program.




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