By Ernie Over, managing editor, county10.com
(Riverton, Wyo.) – Technology topics played a big role in day one of the Fremont County Farm and Ranch Days at the Fairgrounds in Riverton Wednesday. Attendees learned tips on use of iPads for agriculture applications, GPS systems on farm equipment and high frequency ear tags for cattle.
Today, highlights at Farm and Ranch Days include private pesticide classes and programs on drought risk management tools, gardening topics, beekeeping, renewable energy options for the home and Firewise issues for small acreage landowners, among others.
The workshops are being conducted at the Fairground’s Fremont Center, along with a trade show inside the building.
Today’s luncheon speaker is Dr. Jim Logan, the Wyoming State Veterinarian. His presentation on “Ag Issues” will be held at Heritage Hall at noon. Logan’s private veterinarian practice is located in Riverton.
On Wednesday, UW Extension Educator Brandon Greet of Worland talked about how to use tablets to assist agriculture applications. “There are literally hundreds of apps for agriculture for an iPad,” he said. “You can get special spreadsheets, ag news and weather updates, and use tablets or smart phones to gather data in the field and then download them.”
Coming from an Angus cattle ranch himself, Greet said there are tools to enable a rancher to keep track of their entire herd inventory, individual animal performace, and frame and body condition scores. He also said crop and pasture records can be generated, right from the field, and he said one app that he likes identifies weeds that may be growing in a field or pasture.
Greet used his iPad in practical demonstrations, and assisted people after the class with specific questions they had on using the tablet.
Down the hall, Lance Hamilton from Greenline Equipment Company in Riverton conducted a presentation on guidance systems for farm equipment to assist in field preparation, planting and seeding, nutrient application and harvesting. He said different products “offer different levels of accuracy depending on the desired use.”
Hamilton said the new technology “has been a learning experience for both the producer and the dealer,” and he recommended GPS users use hyper-accurate measurements to ensure good field tracking, even when navigating a field using a center pivot irrigation system.
On display at the workshop was an impressive and brand new 6190 John Deere tractor loaded with technology that Greenline’s Aaron Morrison said just arrived this past week.
Workshops begin Thursday morning at 9 a.m. and continue through late afternoon. The last workshop sessions begin at 3 p.m. Fremont County Farm and Ranch days is hosted by the UW Fremont County Extension Service. There is no cost to attend the workshops, and lunch is provided courtesy of the local business sponsors.