September 4, 2009

Transcript from Twitter Q/A between @n_web, @cornfedfarmer

An interview via Twitter took place last week between Brandon Hunnicutt (@cornfedfarmer) and Nick Weber. (Weber is NW_Monsanto_Co below...but his Twitter handle is now @n_web).

Hunnicutt farms in the Gilter area, and is current president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association. Weber is with Monsanto, but does these On The Farm interviews on his own - as he notes below - to learn and help spread the word about agriculture. (He conducted one yesterday with Jeff Fowle - @JeffFowle - a cattle rancher from California.)

The entire conversation follows, from the early announcement of the interview to wrap-up at the end. Thanks to Weber for compiling the conversation, forwarding it along and allowing us to post it.

Several questions came up - from crop conditions to water use to technology to an estimate on yields. A few others jumped into the conversation as well. There's a lot of good Q and A! And since it was live, anyone who was interested could watch and learn.

NW_Monsanto_Co: Talking ag with @cornfedfarmer tomorrow at 10 am for #onthefarm. Brandon is a corn, bean and popcorn farmer in Nebraska.

NW_Monsanto_Co: For #onthefarm tomorrow at 10 w/ @cornfedfarmer, we'll discuss the 09 growing season, ag in NE, innovations in ag, and water use.

NW_Monsanto_Co: I'll have @cornfedfarmer as the guest for #onthefarm today at 10. Hope you can follow along and enjoy it!

NW_Monsanto_Co: BTW, #onthefarm is 10 am CDT today. We'll go for about an hour with Brandon, a corn, bean and popcorn farmer from Nebraska.

akleinschmidt: RT @NW_Monsanto_Co I'll have @cornfedfarmer as the guest for #onthefarm today at 10 a.m. CDT.

Fastline: Check this out.. good stuff RT @akleinschmidt RT @NW_Monsanto_Co I'll have @cornfedfarmer as the guest for #onthefarm today at 10 a.m. CDT.

NW_Monsanto_Co: We'll get #onthefarm going in about 15-20 min. with @cornfedfarmer. I suggest Tweetchat for those who want to follow. Hope you enjoy!

KateOnline: #onthefarm will start in about 15-20 min. with @cornfedfarmer and @NW_Monsanto_Co

NW_Monsanto_Co: I got the idea of a live Twitter interview from @jaybaer. My goal is to learn more about ag in Q&A format. #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: I work in Monsanto's Public Affairs in St. Louis, but this is my own deal. Just hoping to spread the word about ag. #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Once we get a tweet from @cornfedfarmer that he's here, we'll get going! #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: I farm in So Central NE. Raise corn, SB, and popcorn and love technology #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Currently in St Louis with NCGA dealing with Land Use Change #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: There he is. Thanks Brandon for the intro. Q1: How's the season been going for you so far? Surprises? Challenges? #onthefarm

NWKSGMD4: Wayne Bossert online from Colby, Kansas. #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q1-It has been a pretty good year. We have had roughly 16" less rain then last year #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: q1-our biggest challenge has been dealing with some of the new technology we are using #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q1-No real surprises so far, outside of very cool weather #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Q2: Wow, 16" less. What do you usually receive? #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q2-During the growing season 12-14" In 2 years we have average rainfall, only 1 year was very high the other low #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q2-It makes irrigating a challenge but it is why we use some of the tools we do to help monitor water use #onthefarm

NWKSGMD4: Brandon, what's the newest technology you've put in? #onthefarm

Tykerman1: This is wild, watching an online interview using twitter. #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q2-We just received 1.95" the other night. Our 1st 1"+rain in 1 sitting in ~4 months #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Q3: I guess you irrigate some. Can you share how much you supplement? Are there any misconceptions about irrigation to clear up? #onthefarm

monsantoco: @NW_MonsantoCo and @cornfedfarmer chatting right now about H2O #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Newest technology is using row shut offs on the planter and using implement guidance on the same planter. worked well #onthefarm

MikeHowie: Pretty cool. & you can followup l8tr by clicking tag @Tykerman1 This is wild, watching an online interview using twitter. #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: If you have a question for Brandon, DM me and I'll try to get to it. I already have one from @NWKSGMD4. Thanks! #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q3-our goal is to irrigate as little as possible. This year we have added other 5-6". A little higher then past years #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q3-We have cut back by using water sensing technology of different types from measuring soil moisture to evapotranspiration #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q3-Irrigating does get a bum rap b/c it looks as though we are using a lot of water because of the sheer size of fields but #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: in our case we are typically putting on 1" per week probably a lot less then most yards and golf courses for example #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Q4: from @akleinschmidt: Can you tell us a bit more about your irrigation monitoring system? Take a couple tweets for that one! #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q3-Plus we have a number of electric wells that can have power shutoff during the day by the power company so they can keep their #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: loads under control and we get a cheaper rate. We also are utilizing 1 engine that burns 98% ethanol. Better for the enviro #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q4-we are utilizing WaterMark sensors which I have to go out and read with a monitor. I have to remember where I put them... #onthefarm

agchick: ok, i just found you. help me understand this chat please? #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: last year I put some in SB and didn't find them until we harvested. We also are using an AquaSpy this year. The water marks #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: are measuring at 1,2,and 3 feet in different holes. AquaSpy is taking measurements at 5 different depths in the same hole and #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: For those following, one or two more water Qs and then we'll move on to other stuff. This is very educational for me so far. #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: sending out info via cellphone every 15 minutes and call pull it up on the computer. We are also using an ET gage which I input #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: data to on the web via UNL extension once a week. Always looking for better ways to utilize our natural resources #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Q5: Wow, that's awesome stuff. Can you point to water savings or $$$ savings because of this investment? Imagine it's long-term? #onthefarm

SpectrumTech: @cornfedfarmer Have you used any of our products? #onthefarm

FarmerHaley: @cornfedfarmer driving through soutwest IA right now, dont look like they need any irrigation for awhile after last night! #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q5-Water mark sensors are relatively cheap. AquaSpy is long term. We know every circle we save irrigating is a savings of ~$750 #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q5-Every time we don't run we better utilize our ground water. In NE we understand we could have #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Q6: Earlier you mentioned troubles w/ tech on the farm. Can you elaborate? Is the irrigation monitoring system part of that? #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: water regulations limiting our yearly use. #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q6-irrigation monitoring has been glitch-free this year. Other issues range from operator error to lack of documentation to #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: having to learn brand new technology on the fly. #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Q7: How are the crops looking this year? Any favorite varieties? Any expectations on yields yet? #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q7-Overall, very good. Had some hail and wind that stripped up the leaves. Variety wise on SB I like the looks of both RR2Y & #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Yseries. Corn I don't know yet. Yield expectations on corn full farm average of 210-220 bu/ac. #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: On SB expecting full farm average of 75-80 bu/ac.Popcorn that wasn't hailed 5500 lbs/ac #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: 75-80 bu! I think a few in other parts of the US would gladly take half of that! When did U first hit 75 bu? Genetics helps, yes? #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Two more questions for Brandon and then we'll let him get back to his Land Use conf. #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: About 4 years ago was when we hit 75+ on half a pivot. Genetics + plant populations + fungicide + seed treatments. We are #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: planting mid group 3 SB which is somewhat long for our area but want to take advantage of as much of the growing season as we can #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Q8: Can you talk about some of the innovations in ag over the past 5-10 yrs. How have they made life easier (or harder)? #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q8- I have been farming for 11 yrs. The innovations are amazing. From yield mapping to tractors driving via GPS and being able #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: to turn by themselves on the end of a pass while raising/lowering implements and turning on/off equipment. There is more precise #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: planting and spraying. Our combine can drive itself. Multi-stacked genes in our plants we grow. I could go on and on. #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q8-It has made some areas easier b/c it is less stressful on the body. It has increased the need to learn and know what is going #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: on with your equipment and neighbors fields. Overall, it has been great for ag with bigger and better things to come. #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Maybe that's an NeCGA blog post one day! Two more . . . #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Q9: What's the state of ag in Nebraska? Nebraska isn't changing mascots from the Huskers anytime soon, right? :) #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q9-I don't think we are going back to the Bugeaters:) The state of ag in NE is good. We have the golden triangle which is #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q9-corn, cattle and ethanol. We are in great position to take advantage of those industries. We have seed companies like #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Monsanto building new production facilities. We have Monsanto's Water Utilization Learning Center for research. We have a great #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: university doing research. We have challenges with pending legislation dealing with taking a checkoff on corn that is being #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: used for ethanol and hijacking it to use for water. But in the scheme of things that is a minor issue. I believe the long term #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: outlook for ag in NE is great. Plus the county I live in was named the best place to raise a family by Progressive Farmer mag:) #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: Last one: Q10: Who wins the Big 12 this year? Are you ready for the Thurs. nite UN-MU game? 70k drunk Missourians await . . . #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Q10-NU wins the north. OU wins the south. And I will be the one to go out on the line and say NU wins it. That NU-MU game #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: should never, ever be held on a Thurs. nite anywhere. Asking for problems. But I would love to be there. #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: I agree, having college games on any day but Saturday are practically un-American. It's good to see Husker fans back braggin! #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: We went a bit over, but I think it was worth it. Thanks, Brandon, for your time and insight. Hope everyone enjoyed it! #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: I agree on the Thursday thing. Plus I would rather be positive then negative #onthefarm

cornfedfarmer: Thank you Nick. I enjoy talking about ag and the future. Sometime I will talk about the ILU conf #onthefarm

NW_Monsanto_Co: I had a great time today with @cornfedfarmer on #onthefarm. Hope people got something out of it. Let me know how I can improve it!

NW_Monsanto_Co: @Tykerman1 I'll check back with a Nebraska farmer later this yr for #onthefarm. Maybe you! As for praising Huskers . . . (1/2)

NW_Monsanto_Co: For the afternoon crew: Had a great time w/ @cornfedfarmer on #onthefarm. Hope U got something out of it. Let me know how I can improve it!

CLFoundation1: #ff cont: liked #onthefarm btwn @nw_monsanto_co @cornfedfarmer this wk and been showin colleagues the agtweep list so mst have @farmerhaley!

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