A farmer shares his expertise with educators

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then this visual really helped Feed the World workshop participants understand farming today. A representation of product applications showed how much is applied to fields, as well as why and when.

The group enjoyed dinner and informational presentations at the Yoder farm in Plain City, OH. Josh Yoder talked about his experience in farming and answered teachers’ questions. In addition to farming 1,500 acres of corn, soybeans, and wheat with his father, Josh serves as President of Yoder Ag Services, selling corn and soybean seed to farmers under the Dekalb and Asgrow brands and providing agronomic consulting services to customers.

In labs during the first day of the workshop, participants learned about soil texture, nutrient content, pH and soil testing. They also experimented with a lawn spreader to determine proper amounts and directions for spreading lawn chemicals on their own yards and talked about how homeowners tend to overuse chemicals. Heather Bryan, workshop presenter and farmer, said that her farm’s soil is tested in 2 acre grids to determine components and needs.

When Dublin science teacher Chuck Crawford asked Yoder about the type of soil on his farm, Yoder said there was a wide variety of soil types. “We’ve done soil sampling on half-acre grids,” Yoder said, “to get a clear picture of the soil. This allows specific applications in certain areas according to soil type and need.”

Yoder used containers to show the teachers amount of fertilizer and herbicides applied at various times, relating the size of the building to acreage to give an idea of how much product was applied. Although people may see farm equipment spraying fields, it’s not simply a large dousing with chemicals; it’s mostly water, Yoder pointed out.