Martin Barbre – Profile

Jamie JohansenNAFB, Profiles

nafb12-ncga-martinMeet another one of our farmers working hard to take advantage of new technologies to make feeding the world just a little bit easier. Martin Barbre farms with his son in a partnership raising corn, soybeans and wheat. He calls southeastern Illinois home and has farmed there since he was 19 years old.

Cindy talked with him during the National Association of Farm Broadcastings’s Trade Talk. He explained how grid sampling was his farms first step into using precision agriculture allowing them to apply fertilizer according to need.

What has changed over the years?

“When I started we were sitting on an open tractor, breathing the dust, listening to the noisy muffler. I am lucky I didn’t get 40/20 hearing, for some reason my hearing is still good. But it has changed so much, we have adopted new tillage practices, we no-till quite a bit more, saving soil and conserving our resources. The technology has changed a lot. The seed technology has just been great, not only the technology but the genetics have changed. We use yield mapping, grid soil sampling and try to maximize the most out of every arce. That’s our goal.”

What do you see in the future of precision agriculture?

“I think just further enhancements of what we are doing now. More precise, better tools then what we started with. Now we just need them to be precise and we are looking forward to that.”

Martin also shared his excitement for the iPad. He said sometimes on the farm the smartphone is just not big enough and the computer is simply too big. But the iPad he uses is just right.

Listen to Cindy’s complete interview with Martin here: [wpaudio url=”″ text=”Martin Barbre”]

2012 NAFB Convention Photo Album