Rose Goslinga: Crop insurance, an idea worth seeding

Across sub-Saharan Africa, small farmers are the bedrock of national and regional economies—unless the weather proves unpredictable and their crops fail. The solution is insurance, at a vast, continental scale, and at a very low, affordable cost. Rose Goslinga and the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture pioneered an unconventional way to give farmers whose crops fail early a second chance at a growing season. About Rose Goslinga Rose Goslinga isn’t your typical insurance salesperson. Through the Syngenta Foundation, her team developed insurance solutions to assist small-scale farmers [...]

This computer will grow food for you in the future

What if we could grow food that is delicious, nutrient-dense, indoors anywhere in the world? Caleb Harper, director of the Open Agriculture Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, wants to change the food system by connecting growers with technology. Get to know Harper's "food computers" and catch a glimpse of what the future of farming might look like.  

Preventing Tractor Accidents

Tractor accidents are still the top causes of farm injuries and deaths. We can minimize those risks with these common sense practices on tractor safety: The two most common types of tractor accidents are overturns and runovers. As the name suggests, overturns occur when a tractor becomes unbalanced and flips or rolls over, often when on a slope, ditch bank or when pulling an unbalanced or oversized load. Runovers indicate a person being run over by a tractor. These tragedies [...]

Solar Fence or Electrical? How to Choose

A Solar fence comes with a controller (or energizer) which is the heart of an electric livestock fencing system. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. The fence controller is connected to a grounding system as well as the fence wire. This creates an open circuit. The circuit is completed when an animal touches both the fence wire and the ground at the same time. Electricity will pass down the fence wire, through the animal, into [...]

Safety Tips for Backhoe Operation

Disclaimer: This article on Backhoe Operation is NOT intended to replace the manufacturer’s manuals provided with the machine. Those who are involved with the use of the loader/backhoe need to read and understand those documents. The loader/backhoe (or excavator) is a versatile machine capable of performing many tasks on the farm or construction worksites. It’s ideal for most trenching work that is done on a construction site. The loader is perfect for moving and loading soil as well as heavy objects [...]

On-Farm Construction

Things to consider before breaking ground In construction "A good foundation ensures a good start" A key component of developing new and established farms across the world relates to buildings and structures you need to make your farm most productive.  Whether a new facility or improving a site, the skill of the owner and the scope of the project drives whether you can accomplish the project with your own labor resources or you need to hire a third party contractor [...]

Biosensors in Cattle Become More Sophisticated Every Year

The term biosensors is becoming commonplace in the livestock industry across the world.  The term covers a wide variety of data sets that can be measured, transmitted, and analyzed in real time using IoT (Internet of Things) technology or wireless systems ‘talking’ with a centralized unit on the farm. Biosensors have the potential to measure physiological, behavioral, immunological, and related variables across multiple animal species and livestock; whether in the wild or domesticated.  The latest developments can offer highly specialized [...]

Keeping Diesel Fuel Clean

In the day-to-day operations on farms and construction sites, just about the last thing on your mind as an operator is how clean your fuel is as it powers your tractor and equipment.  Over time, however, not paying attention to keeping clean fuel clean can cost you big money.  Diesel fuel is actually very clean when it leaves the refinery.  What happens after that, however, can be significant.  During transport, contaminants can be easily picked up in diesel fuel.  [...]

Track vs Wheels for Loaders and Equipment

The debate between skid-steer track vs tires has been ongoing for years, whether in loaders, tractors, or any piece of equipment. The skid steer has been on the construction and farm scene for some 40 years; achieving the distinction of becoming the single most popular purchase in the construction industry.  In recent decades, however, the introduction of track drive across many pieces of equipment creates another layer of decision making for the contractor and farmer alike. The skid steer loader [...]

Biofuel and Electricity Cogeneration from Sugarcane

Countries across the world are addressing ways to reduce their dependency on fossil fuel as a source of electrical energy and fuel, and cogeneration from sugarcane is becoming more and more interesting.  Among the renewable and green sources of energy, Sugarcane can be a significant contributor by nature of its physiology as a plant, and diverse uses that can be extracted from a sugar cane crop. Chart of activities in a typical Sugar Cane plant  (source:  Energies:  Challenges in Bioenergy Production from [...]


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