Fred Kirschenmann Question 2

Uploaded by AFSICVideos on 28.06.2012

DR. KIRSCHENMANN: Yeah. Some of our equipment is different from conventional farmers in
the area. We, for example, have a rotary hoe and a sweep plow or blade plow, which are
minimum tillage tools that are used for weed control systems and where most conventional
farmers would probably use herbicides to perform that function for them.
But in terms of our overall capital investment in equipment, we are very comparable to conventional.
MS. GATES: You have something called a "rock picker"?
MS. GATES: What does a rock picker do?
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: Well, the glacier was very kind to provide us with lots of field stones
in our fields, and frost heaves will continually bring those to the surface each year. So,
usually, every couple of years we have to go out and clean those off; otherwise, you
are going to be breaking equipment.
MS. GATES: They are just sort of kind of erupting to the surface.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: That's right. Right.
MS. GATES: You think you get them all, and then there they are again.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: That's right. Yeah.
MS. GATES: And you have something called a "swather"?
MS. GATES: Is that how you pronounce it?
MS. GATES: And I don't know what that is.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: Okay. In some parts of the country, they are called "wind rowers." We
live in the mixed prairie grass ecosystem in North Dakota, which is very rolly. The
terrain, the topography is quite rolly, and so, consequently, the grains in the lower
lying areas will remain green longer than those in the higher areas.
MS. GATES: Okay.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: And if you wait for all of it to ripen, so that you can combine it
directly, then you usually end up either having to combine some that is too green or some
that is already starting to break down because it's overripe. So one of the ways of dealing
with that is to cut it at a medium period of time, at a medium stage of ripening, and
then let it dry in the field, in the swaths, and then you come along later and pick it
up with the combine. That is just a way to really field dry the grain.
MS. GATES: And, of course, you have a manure spreader, I read, and combines and a loader,
a loader for the manure spreader?
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: Yeah. Right, right. And also for feeding the livestock. In the winter
months, we bring the livestock into feed lots because the weather in North Dakota gets too
much for them.
MS. GATES: I can imagine.
DR. KIRSCHENMANN: And so we use the loaders for feeding.