Although we may be biased, we feel it is hard to find a career more noble than being stewards of this earth’s beautiful land and caretakers for thousands of precious animals’ lives. Because we take this responsibility so seriously, we are continually evaluating and changing our farming and livestock practices in an effort to improve our world. We would like to share with you a few of our practices that separate us from agricultural norms and aid us in being better stewards and caretakers.
Nitrogen Tool Bar
A recent equipment addition to RAKR Farms is the Nitrogen Tool Bar (NTB) attachment that goes on the front of our Hagie sprayer. The primary purpose of the acquisition of the NTB was to increase the window for nitrogen applications. This tool allows us to apply nitrogen to corn up to seven feet tall. By being able to make later applications we can “spoon feed” nitrogen to our corn. All farmers know that later growth stages are the times when corn needs the most nitrogen. Because of this tool we are no longer forced to apply large amounts of nitrogen in a single pass across the field before corn is planted or shortly after. Nitrogen, even with stabilizers, is one of the most freely traveling nutrients we feed our crops. Nitrogen readily travels with water, and the longer nitrogen is present in the soil before plant uptake, the more likely it is to enter and contaminate our water streams. Having larger quantities of nitrogen in the soil at one time only magnifies this issue. We can now apply nitrogen before planting, with the planter, and up to 2-3 times after planting depending on weather patterns and soil conditions.
Our operation believes that water contamination from poor nitrogen management practices is a severe problem that will be addressed by state and federal regulations in the near future. Our ability to not apply more than we need at the time and reduce waste allows us to be more economical and more responsible.