A Day in the Life: Brandon Bauman
Planting season is in full swing! Mark Holt, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, sat down with one of our farmer-members to discuss this busy season and provide a glimpse into farming.
“Brandon Bauman has a different lens than we do, and it’s an important story to tell,” Holt says.
Brandon managed to find time in his busy schedule to answer our questions about agriculture. Bauman is a fourth-generation rice and soybean farmer with an active operation in the Arkansas Grand Prairie.
When asked about his passion for the industry, Brandon says“I love the challenge.” Despite weather challenges and input costs, “each yearI have the opportunity to produce the highest quality, most efficient rice crop possible,” he explained.
Starting the Day
“Each planting season starts with a plan from seeding to fertilizer to irrigation,” he explained. Brandon and his employees begin their day with a meeting at the farm shop. They discuss field issues, upcoming events, and safety concerns.
Each team member then goes on their way to the farm to accomplish their assigned tasks.
Challenges in Agriculture
“Last year, input costs were one of the biggest challenges for our farmer-members. Input costs can be anything from the fuel necessary to run equipment to seed costs,” Holt elaborated.
When discussing the trend for this planting season, Brandon says there has been “some relief.” Last year, his operation focused on more precise applications and little waste of fuel and fertilizer. This year,Brandon says rising interest rates are becoming a concern as farming requires a lot of capital.
An Evolving Industry
When discussing increasing efficiency in agriculture, Holt says, “It used to take 3-4 weeks to complete planting. Now, if we can get a10-15 day window, we can get a lot accomplished.”
According to Brandon, the equipment has become much larger warranting more precise operation due to increased costs and short windows for planting. Brandon’s team does everything they can to avoid or minimize mistakes. Costly mistakes include overlapping passes in the field, burning extra fuel, and planting too much seed.
To combat these mistakes, Brandon has installed GPS guidance on his seeder and uses a fertilizer applicator that precisely applies the correct amount of nutrients based on data from field soil samples.
Sustainability is Key
Being sustainable to Brandon means implementing practices that improve the farm’s sustainability, survival, and even succession, so future generations can have the privilege to farm too.
He strives for sustainability by implementing new technology, efficient irrigation techniques, electric wells over diesel ones, tracking the smallest amounts of inputs, row rice, multiple inlet rice irrigation, and recyclable irrigation pipe.
Ultimately, he believes that “what helps the world, helps farms.”
A huge thank you to Brandon for taking the time to talk with us about on-farm practices!