Cooperative Extension News

Carl Mitchell - Extension Agent

Winter weather can be quite the challenge for farmers. We enjoy the beauty of snow and watching our young ones sled and play. We may even join them for a little bit! However, daily chores must still be done and our animals still need food and water. It takes a lot more time and effort to get things done and unexpected problems can occur such as frozen or busted water pipes. Once the snow melts away and the land thaws, another concern arises. Mud. Damaged fields and roads are always a worry and repair plans must be made before the waiting process for conditions to be right to make those repairs. It is a problem that we all deal with and no one enjoys.

I recently had the opportunity to learn about some new technologies that are becoming available for farmers to add to their tool box in improving fields and pastures more effectively. Issues with drainage and crop damage will be much easier to diagnose and treat with the use of drones. I personally had a lot of skepticism about the practical use of drones in our area’s small farms. However, services will soon be available for farmers to have drone operators come out to their farm and survey fields with cameras and specialized sensors. These sensors can measure plant activity and determine what is causing those changes. I was impressed by how useful this technology can be. I am always fascinated with the changes that are occurring in agriculture and the new tools and methods available for us to improve our stewardship. Don’t be surprised to see drones regularly flying over farms in the near future!

If you would like to learn more, there will be a cattlemen’s meeting on February 5th at 6:30pm in the Stokes Cooperative Extension office with drone services as the topic. Please call 336-593-8179 or email for more information.

Carl Mitchell

Extension Agent