Guest post by Sam Hitchcock Tilton
A full day of exhibits, demonstrations, farmers and industry experts for both vegetables and row-crops
It’s that time of year when the farm is humming at a fevered pitch, and the beauty of the fields and one’s love of them can get obstructed by the haze of exhaustion. But there is light at the end of the tunnel! No, I don’t mean the end of the season or finally taking a dip in that swimming pool of gold coins that I assume you have been filling all summer, instead I refer to that apex of autumn, that sweet-spot of September, the quintessence of cultivation – The Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day.
Now even though you’re busy and over-worked (and hopefully over-paid), I will guarantee you that this field day will not only give you several, hundred-dollar ideas to improve your weed control, you’ll also spend time with growers of vegetable and row-crops from all over the Midwest – and these are some of the funniest, kindest, and most interesting people I know.
Last year’s field day was held at PrariErth Farm in Illinois. Hans, Katie, and Dave Bishop were so kind to welcome us all to their farm for the event. We arrived in the morning to coffee and pastry and visited with other farmers. Even though we were supposed to head to the morning barn-talk, many couldn’t help first checking out the machine exhibition area and speaking with the company reps. After lunch, farmers followed the tractors out to the demonstration field. Eight companies had demonstration plots to show their machines. Vegetables and corn had been planted especially for the field day, and were at an ideal stage to show the action of the tools; belly-mounted and rear-mounted precision weeding tools were demonstrated on a variety of old and cutting edge tractors.
This year’s Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day is an ideal opportunity for farmers to learn about weeding tools and techniques, including precision guidance. This year’s event will continue the strong focus on vegetable and specialty-crop machines, but new this year is a row-crop section – with its own weeding tool companies, round-table topics, and field demonstrations (6-row machines).
The morning Expo period is your opportunity to see weeding tools from more than 10 companies and meet with all the growers in attendance. University weed scientists from surrounding states will be there to share their research. You can also check in at a few round-table discussions, each topic moderated by an experienced farmer. The Walk-Behind Alley will feature demonstrations of walk-behind tractors and implements both new and tried and true. You can also visit exhibit booths for other companies in allied trades such as farm-service and soil amendments.
At noon, we’ll serve lunch, which is an opportunity for farmers to break bread together or to continue looking at equipment and speaking with exhibitors. In the afternoon, we’ll follow the tractors out to the demonstration field, where corn, beets, and broccoli have been planted especially for the demonstrations. Myriad cultivators and cultivating tractors will be demonstrated in the field and explained by manufacturers. These demonstrations will show how the machines should be mounted and properly adjusted, and will help farmers visualize how the implements can work on their own farms to increase efficiency and productivity.
Row-crop tools in the demonstration include the Treffler Harrow, Einbock Harrow, KULT-Kress 6-row cultivator with finger weeders and camera guidance, Einbock Chop-Star cultivator with camera guidance, Buffalo Cultivator with slide-hitch, among others. Demonstrations will be held in 5’’ corn.
Vegetable tools include the Tilmor Tractor and their basket weeder, parallel-unit cultivator and other tools, Steketee parallel units of side-knives and finger weeders mounted on the Franken-G, Treffler harrow, a variety of KULT-Kress belly-mounted and rear-mounted steerable tools, Mechanical Transplanter with their planting machine and plastic layer, as well as a variety of weeding machines brought to the field day from all over the Midwest by farmers in attendance.* And, for the first time in the US, you can see Japanese cultivators!
This day of learning and networking on mechanical weed control costs $40 and includes breakfast, lunch, and good times. Early-bird gets the worm – register by August 24th for the early-bird discount. Recommended to register early as each year space runs out.
When: Wednesday, September 18, 2019
Where: Gwenyn Hill Farm, W294 N130 Bryn Drive, Waukesha, WI 53188
How Much: $40 (includes lunch)
For more info on the event and registration, contact The Land Connection at email@example.com or (312) 840-2128.
*If you would like to bring a cultivator to the field day, that would be wonderful. Please call or text Sam Hitchcock Tilton at 414-213-5337 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.