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101-Year-Old Kansas Farmer Embraces New Technology

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It’s not unusual to find the latest technology powering equipment on Kansas farmland… but it is unique to find a 101-year-old behind the controls.

A life-long farmer, Loyd Ratts remembers the days when horses powered the plows and other equipment on his Stafford County farmland. 

“I did my first farm job at four and really got into farming when I was about ten-years-old,” Ratts said. “I farmed with horses until I graduated from high school. Moving from horse-powered farming to tractors was a huge change.”

Calling himself an early adopter, Ratts has initiated a lot of changes in his operation – most recently integrating FieldNET® by Lindsay into his irrigation system. With FieldNET technology and a smartphone, he can remotely monitor and control his entire system and receive up-to-the-minute alerts if there are performance issues.

”I’ve been irrigating since about 1973, so I have been participating in all the changes that have happened with irrigation since then. There were many times with the system would get stuck and I had no way of knowing it, so I would lose 24 – 48 hours of irrigation when the crops desperately needed it,” Ratts said. “With FieldNET, if something happens, it sends a notice to me, and I can correct it right away. I don’t lose any hours of irrigation.” 

Jason Wood and the team at 96 Agri Sales have invested in the tools and training to stay current on all the latest irrigation technologies including FieldNET. This makes them a valuable resource to growers, like Ratts, who want the ability to create variable rate irrigation plans, create usage reports and monitor soil moisture and weather conditions.

FieldNET saves time, labor and fuel and provides Ratts with a way to remain actively engaged in his operation.

“I like the independence – being able to be my own boss and doing a job that needs to be done,” he said. “The best thing about FieldNET is the assurance that the system is doing the job that needs to be done and being able to do it from my chair in the house instead of out in the mud. I would absolutely recommend FieldNET to others.”