Farmers are the foundation of Farmed Smart....
Meet them here:
Al and Colista Uhlorn moved to Fernidad ID. in 1902 and began farming.
Darrel and Mary Uhlorn,and thier children Brent and Tanis Uhlorn.
Meet the Uhlorn Family- We are Uhlorn Family Farms. Our members consist of Darrel and Mary Uhlorn, and Brent and Tanis Uhlorn. Darrel is the 3rd generation to farm the family’s original homestead and Brent is the 4th. Al and Colista Uhlorn moved to Ferdinand ID in 1902 and began his farm.
Darrel has been farming for 40 years. This is Brent’s 9th year.
Today the Uhlorn's grows Grass, Alfalfa Hay, Sunflowers, Peas. Lentils, Chickpeas, Barley, Canola, Grass Seed, Wheat and Wine Grapes
Direct Seed Practices Used: Darrel started Direct Seed in 1983. He found success and over time converted more acres until reach 100% Direct seed in 1999. As is with most growers, the biggest challenge is managing crop residue. A variety of practices have been implemented from two pass (drilling in fertilizer in a separate pass ahead of the seed drill), burning in extremely heavy residue situations, heavy harrowing, mowing, no management behind the combine, and biological digesters. We have currently found success with mowing in heavy residue situations, a heavy harrow with light pressure on occasion, and now starting to implement biological digesters to do the work.
Type of Drill, and/or other direct seed/no-till equipment used in their operation: We have two different drills depending on the crop we are planting. If we are planting high population crops such as wheat and barley, we use an Ezee-On hoe style air drill. For most other crops we us precision seed placement technology on a Horsch Maestro Planter that allows us to place seed individually and with proper spacing.
Cover Crops used/Innovative Practices Implemented: Cover Croping is an on-going research project on our farm. We have had success with growing cover crops but have also created problems with them. In the past we have been planting our cover crop in the spring ahead of our Fall Canola crop (which gets planted in mid-late July). We have had a hard time getting enough growth fast enough to provide adequate ground cover to prevent evaporation. That had been leaving us with the soil to dry to get the Canola to germinate. We have moved to fall planted covers to give us a longer growing season and give us the option to terminate earlier if we need to conserve soil moisture. We will continue to work on new ways to implement them and collaborate with other growers in the area to figure out their best uses.
Over the last several years we have been starting to use more and more biological inoculants. This is a process that has begun to pick up steam the longer we use them. We are able to reduce our synthetic fertilizer use by up to 50% in some cases and easily 25% in most other cases (vs. Conventional farming practices). Herbicide use has changed, and we are looking to move towards more biological control of some of our more common weeds. We hope to be able to move to 50% fertilizer reduction (vs. Conventional farming practices) across all crops someday and reduced herbicide usage as well.
What does your Farmed Smart Certification mean to you? It is very important to us in that it validates all the hard work we do to be better stewards of the land. This is a process that has taken decades of trials and failures and get to where we are. The Farmed Smart Certification has a very high standard and threshold to meet that only some of the best and most daring growers are able to meet.
What is the importance of regenerative agriculture practices to your operation? Agriculture gets a bad reputation sometimes. As in many cases, it’s the action of a few the blemish the many. It's our goal and job to change the narrative and re-tell the story of farming and all the good it has and can do for the world and the environment. Not only that, but if we become more immune to weather extremes, and more financial stable, it sets up this farming operation to continue on for generations.
Meet the Wollweber Family of Jade Farms : We are a 5th generation farm family in eastern Washington where we farm with our son and one of our daughters. Our goal has been the same as the generations before us: to be the best possible stewards of the land the Lord has blessed us with. We have been farming for 26 years. We grow wheat, barley and oats.
Innovative Practices Implemented: On our farm we have no fallow or idle ground. Every acre will have a healthy growing root during our growing season. A healthy root in a no-til system is a key ingredient to soil health, air and water quality. We also incorporate CPR and grass areas and plant trees in our critical field areas that help wildlife habitats flourish. On our crop acres we primarily grow spring wheat. Our farm system lowers input costs as well as improves yields, soil health, and profitability.