Friday, 22 March 2013

Google Earth Farm Management

The winter weather continues to batter our beleaguered crops (yes, I did have to check if that was a real word) and I happened to catch up on the debate about 'greening' the CAP. It seems like the okey cokey, putting a bit in, a bit out and shaking it all about. It leaves me mystified that having tried to reduce administration through the MacDonald review, this lot coming over the hill, could be a monster of bureaucratic madness. I'm sure by the end of it I will be less green than I was before. I digress!!

We have a Swedish intern , Linnea Aronsson, working with us and she is mapping the whole farm by GPS and using some complicated mapping programme. We were discussing some issues surrounding field margins and using Google Earth to highlight the area of concern.
I was delighted to see the results of our GPS cultivations, with nice straight lines, no overlapping and such a professional job.

 However, the next door field did not have the same look, it was a field where the straw had been removed by contractors. Now as someone who is considering reducing my tillage operations further I was horrified to see the route plan the straw carting operation takes (you might need to zoom in for full effect). Now I know straw carting is an imprecise science, but I have never seen it so vividly illustrated. So how do I solve the quandary, bale chaser, no straw removal, lower ground pressure tyres, sticking only to tramlines ....... time for a serious rethink thanks to Google Earth Farm Management !
PS  Its 1.8 degrees Celsius  at Loddington  and the BBC has gleefully told me that this time last year some parts of the country reached 21 degrees Celsius.

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