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    Lalitha Vish  |  Jellicles Farm  |  Sunol , CA

    Subject: Soil sampling rover and other farm bots

    while working and doing my homework on my small acreage farm bot, i came across an interesting use case for automation in the field.

    i spoke to the founder and got some details. It is made for soil core extraction and has a couple of depth/densities option.

    85 acres/hour. 800 acres/day. 6 sample cores every 2.5 acres. It even sleeves the soil cores. GPS-RTK. Moves and selects grids. Will remember the spot so it will go back to same spot the next year. Tracked. 5500 lbs. works best in fall and spring.
    Mine is a multi functional platform for a smal acreage(sun 100 acre) farm. Would like ideas on what else farmers would like such a roaming/mapping/sensing platform could do....and how many hours it would save in a farm block of 5 acres. The key is to be able to cram as many tasks in one pass. After talking to him, I realized that soil sampling is also a valuable function for a small farm bot. For
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    Comments 8
    02/07/19

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      |  Jellicles Farm  |  Sunol , CA commented

    Thanks, Hasan. That was valuable input. I agree that agrobotics is multi platform and multi disciplinary. There is no doubt that it is tough. Having said that, we ..as farmers..have an opportunity to influence the next paradigm shift in how the upcoming version of farming will shape up..when we went from horses to tractors, it changed everything. And then some more. At some point, farming became a domain that was out of reach of farmers‘ grasp...today conventional practices aid and also harm ag production. there is no kill switch to detect and deter excesses of erosion or tillage or chemical pollution or pest pressure.

    There are two arenas. Where a new technology is born and the other is where it Is implemented. The impact of the act of farming the soil continues and is cumulative on soil, environment, water and even markets. And now as Ag changes again, farmers have a chance to speak up and taking

    ... Read More
    02/12/19 8:19 AM

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    Greg Nilsen  |  Wine Country Cuisine  |  Santa Rosa, CA

    Subject: Share Cropping concept

    I farm by myself as I have never been able to make money from other people’s work. I just had a 49% sales increase for 2018, all to rock solid business customers that pay within 14 days. This would seem like the time to hire help, however the realities of employee costs due to wages, taxes, insurance and legal compliance are unaffordable. I read ads for farm help paying $12/hr. and have to wonder what that buys. Given the new Food Safety Modernization Act, I can’t imagine a $12 person being consistently clean enough to touch food. Could they read and follow a printed work order and note any changes and enter those changes into the computer? Do they love their work and want only the best and most beautiful produce for your customers?

    I would like to find a younger partner to pass my business on to and was approached by a recent Chico State grad looking for a career change to farming. It is almost

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    Comment 1
    01/06/19
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      |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

    I would very strongly suggest that you edit or remove this post at minimum to remove your name and the name of your business as the arrangement you outline is almost certainly a violation of multiple CA and federal labor laws. Both the IRS and the state of CA are cracking down on abuse of Independent Contractor status to avoid payroll taxes and other regulatory requirements.

    You are also mis-using the term "Share Cropping". When done legally, "Share Cropping" is a relationship between a landowner and a farm business that involves the farm business managing a property or crop and paying the landowner a share of the gross or net proceeds instead of cash rent per acre. It is a relationship outlined in a legal contract. One benefit of Share Cropping as opposed to a lease is that the share paid to the Landlord can be accounted for as a Cost of Sale rather than an expense.

    The arrangement you are

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    01/06/19 12:37 PM

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    Rachel Kohn Obut  |  Lunita Farm  |  Napa, CA

    Subject: Overwintering Onions -- varieties and recommendation

    Hey everyone, what onions varieties have you had most success with overwintering?

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    Comments 4
    07/24/18

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      |  Classic Organic Farm  |  Gaviota, CA commented

    if you farm in Southern California, I can make some recommendations.

    08/13/18 11:59 PM

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    Melinda Price  |  Peace and Plenty Farm  |  Kelseyville, CA

    Subject: Looking for an Accountant/Tax Advisor for Farm

    We are a new small organic farm in Lake County and we need someone to help us with tax advice and accounting. Does anyone have someone they would recommend? They don't have to be located in Lake County to be of use to us.
    Thank you!

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    Comments 3
    07/19/18

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      |  Peace and Plenty Farm  |  Kelseyville, CA commented

    Thank you for the recommendations! Will contact both and see if either are taking new clients.


    Best,

    Melinda /Peace and Plenty Farm

    07/23/18 1:04 PM

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    Diane Matthew  |  Mt. Barnabe Farm  |  Lagunitas, CA

    Subject: Flail mowers for small tractors

    I am considering purchasing a flail mower for my 20 horse tractor and am having trouble getting detailed information on them. Does anyone have experience with them and can you recommend a brand? I am hoping that a flail mower will breakup a very mature (dry) cover crop to be left as mulch to protect the soil. Do they cut up some weed seed such as fox tails?

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    Comments 7
    06/28/18

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      |  Jellicles Farm  |  Sunol , CA commented

    I want to say that it depends on your use/field. Y knives would be more suitable if you don’t have brush tho’.. perhaps Mike Madison is right..but I want to bet on Y knives for grass/cover crop and thick soft stems upto 2 inches. Beyond 3-4 inches, hammer is better. You won’t get a finish or fine mulch with hammer. dry grass though will always be weirder than green crop. a sickle mower might work better if you are dealing with dry grass, IMO ..having said that..I am intuiting here.

    07/02/18 8:05 AM

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    Eric Munro  |  Ananda Valley Farm  |  Half Moon Bay, CA

    Subject: Seedlings grow smaller in large cell-sized trays -- why???

    Does anyone know why seedlings seem to grow bigger and faster when planted in smaller-cell trays

    The picture below are broccoli seedlings 4+ weeks old. Same seed packet, same date seeded, same mix, same fertilization, same watering.

    Only difference is one tray is 162 Proptek (2.4 cu in) the other 338 Proptek (1.3 cu in).

    I thought I could grow bigger seedlings using the larger cell sized tray. But just the opposite happened, the bigger seedlings are in the smaller cell-sized tray. This has happened to me several times and every time I tried doing this.

    The only reason I can conjecture is the smaller tray has steeper cell walls, so maybe water flows faster down it, bringing more oxygen to the roots??? Doesn't seem plausible.

    Does anyone know why this happens???

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    Comments 7
    05/18/18

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      |  Ananda Valley Farm  |  Half Moon Bay, CA commented

    Thanks Paul. What you say certainly matches my experience although not my initial "intuition".

    One year I planted some tray seedlings alongside up-potted larger transplants. The smaller tray seedlings did better. Didn't do any up-potting again.

    05/20/18 10:55 PM

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    Brandon Sanders  |  RobinSong Farms  |  Templeton, CA

    Subject: SLCV in C. moschata

    I have, I believe, a form of Squash Leaf Curl Virus (upward curl) in a distinct area of my winter squash field. It seems to only be infecting C. moschata varieties, particularly Kikuza. At first, online research made it seem that I am not in a region where the virus exists, but I started to see more talk of it in CA. I am wondering:

    1) How should I be preventing this in the future?

    2) Should I be removing the infected plants? I do not see any whitefly currently.

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    Comments 4
    06/13/17

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      |  Green Gage Farm  |  Novato, CA commented

    Just want to thank Becky Shirley for her referral to Jan Leowen! Jan worked with me for almost 8 months, and finally got me a commercial insurance plan, as well as a 'Liability' plan from another vendor. This was a very difficult situation, in that I have a 2-acre farm with 4 vacation cottages (+ my house and a few outbuildings) and it is ON A FARM! So there are things that young children should not encounter. Does anyone else have commercial capacity?

    07/29/18 12:15 AM

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    David Plescia  |  New Family Farm  |  Sebastopol, CA

    Subject: Tractor models that have worked? The classic One-Tractor dilemma

    Howdy Farmers,

    I am looking for specific tractor models, old or new (manufacturer, model, and year) that veggie growers have really liked, so that I can search them used on TractorHouse. Our situation is this...

    My partner and I are tooling up to break ground on a 6-8 acre, diverse vegetable CSA in Sebastopol. We are researching tractors, and deep into the classic "one tractor conundrum". With the ability to only afford one tractor, we would like to have a versatile one. We'd like it to be able to do primary tillage, as well as has have properly spaced and thin enough tires to get it into our shaped beds to help renovate beds for second-plantings (to undercut, disc, rototill, or spade), to weed the furrows and to possibly flame-weed (if we can find a 60" tractor mounted flame weeder). We will cultivate in-row manually the first years.

    Our requirements are: ~50 horsepower, 4WD, 60" center-to-center tread

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    Comments 14
    12/01/16, updated

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      |  Yolo Press  |  Winters, CA commented

    I notice that today (12/30) on Modesto craigslist is a Massey Ferguson 275 (72hp) tractor with new engine, new clutch, new tires, 'professionally restored' (according to ad) asking $8500. I would check it out carefully, but that's a tractor that would do everything you need, except cultivating, without running you deep into debt.

    12/30/18 6:43 AM

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    Ken Kimes  |  Greensward / New Natives LLC  |  Aptos, CA

    Subject: Tiller / bed shaper

    Good Morning

    We are looking at using a tiller/ bed shaper as a one unit combination. Anyone out there using that combo now? What's your set up, manufacturer, horse power, bed height? And most important what are the draw backs, or pit falls to trying to use these two as one unit?

    Thanks Ken

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    Comments 14
    08/18/15

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      |  Yanmar America  |  Adairsville, GA commented

    Ken Krimes, You might be interested to learn about this product recently introduced by Yanmar America. A 4-in-1 rotary tiller / bed shaper. In one pass, you can till, shape a bed, install one or more irrigation tubes, and install your choice of plastic or paper mulch. Video here: https://youtu.be/5yRsJ54TriA

    Yanmar Tractor dealer locator: https://www.yanmartractor.com/dealer-locator

    07/09/18 5:55 AM, updated

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    Ralph Rittenhouse  |  Elderbroc Farm  |  Lakeport, CA

    Subject: For sale: complete plastic mulching system includ...

    For sale: complete plastic mulching system includes mulch layer, Holland 1265 Mulch Transplanter, bed shaper with lifter attachment. Also 5 rolls of 4000', 1.25 mil black/silver plastic mulch. All equipment is in very, very good condition. Ready to go to work. $4500.00 Contact Ralph Rittenhouse at 707 245-5183 or elderbrocfarm@yahoo.com.

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    Comments 2
    02/18/14

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      |  Terra Firma Farm  |  Winters, CA commented

    That is a nice setup. The mulch layer will work fine with a 30 hp tractor but I'm not sure about the Transplanter.

    FYI, I have a 1265 planter, and it is hands-down the best transplanter I have ever used. It is super fast, very little maintenance, and can also be used on bare soil. We use it to transplant all of our tomatoes, melons, squash, etc. It is not easy to change the planting distance (at all), but we get by fine planting everything at the same spacing (14").

    06/16/14 9:54 AM

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