Young Texas Trio Brings Technology to the Farm

Talia GoesAgribusiness, Conservation, USDA

wilderadoThe tales of young, tech-savvy entrepreneurs launching new ventures out of Silicon Valley are common. But what about three 20-something brothers who live – not in some high tech mecca – but near the small community of Wilderado, Texas, who started a new business venture?

The Gruhlkey brothers – Brittan, 24, Braden, 25, and Cameron, 20 – are farming cotton, corn, sorghum and wheat while showing how technology plays an important role in farming. The average age of Texas farmers is nearly 60 years old, making their enterprise a unique one and they’re doing this amid huge challenges, including an ongoing drought and a growing demand for water.

These technological advancements allow them to better water and feed their crops. Through subsurface drip irrigation, they can deliver water uniformly across the field and directly to the root of the plant to use water more efficiently. Through this irrigation system, they can schedule when plants are watered and eliminate overwatering.

In addition to this conservation work, the Gruhlkeys are also working with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to manage crop residue, rotate crops, plant cover crops, control weeds, provide plants for pollinators and use no-till and strip till methods. These efforts benefit their farm and the environment. They conserve resources, provide homes for pollinators, conserve soil moisture, maintain ground cover, prevent soil erosion and improve air quality.