Producer Profile: Steve Hafner

Melissa SandfortPrecision in Practice

The Precision in Practice column brings you the latest reports from producers across North America who have put precision farming into practice in their own operations. Visit this column regularly to see what your neighbors are saying about precision farming and how they use it on their farms.

Short broadcast interviews with these and other producers can be found in the Precision Ag Minute archives.

corn.jpg Steve Hafner
Leroy, MN
2,200 acres of corn and soybeans
John Deere components used: Starfire RTK

Q: How do you utilize your guidance system?
A: I strip till in the fall, place dry fertilizer, build a burm and record all my passes. I put the data card in, come back in the spring and plant right on the fertilizer I just placed the fall before, on the same exact tract. The repeatability is a necessity. It also takes the fatigue out so I can watch the implement work.

Q: What system would you recommend?
A: For my operation and no-till/strip-till when you need repeatability and the ability to stay in the same track, I’d recommend RTK. For someone doing the same work I’m doing, I would go right to the RTK system – I wouldn’t start out on a “lower,” less expensive system. Within a year, I ended up with RTK because it’s that much more accurate.

Once people see what it does, it sells them. It almost has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Guidance systems have just cracked the tip of the iceberg with what they can do now compared to what they’ll be able to do down the road.