Silver Reef Organic Farms is a 100% organic farm that began in the spring of 2013. It was one heck of a first year! We learned the process of becoming Certified Organic by the State of Colorado, farming techniques in Northern Colorado, organic farming techniques, land and equipment purchases, and bank negotiations. We also worked hard to grow superior crops for our customers.
2014 was another great learning experience. The year started off fantastic with manure application and field work prep being completed on time and with a great seed bed. The planting of organic corn, organic pinto beans, organic wheat and organic sorghum all went according to plan. Crops during June and July were right on track for high yields and to meet high quality specifications. Then came August and Mother Nature had a different plan. First, the crops were hit with torrential rain and golf-ball sized hail on approximately 50% of all crops. At first, not knowing what we were looking at, it appeared that the crops could not be saved. But with time and new genetic vigor of our selected seed varieties, all of the crops made it to harvest. Not exactly the yields that we had wanted or expected, but it does show that if the crop can get out of the ground then a farm can at least break even. What I learned as a farmer that day was that you always have to stay positive, probably more than most occupations, and always look forward to doing it better next year. We are now in 2015 and our outlook is positive and we believe that this year will be our year. We plan on growing organic corn silage, organic grain corn, organic pinto beans, organic red winter wheat, organic malting barley (new the operation this year) and organic forage sorghum.
We feel truly blessed to be a part of the Northern Colorado farming community. Our goal has been and will always be to implement the newest technology in pivot irrigation with the use of Zimmatic Field Net software, and to utilize state-of-the-art equipment and tractors to their true potential. In fact, almost 90% of Silver Reef Organic Farm’s tractors have Tier 4 engines with Green Star precision GPS technology. We are also utilizing Veris’ electrical conductivity technology on all of our fields to improve our soil survey accuracy. We will use this precision soil mapping to implement field zone management, allowing us to make better management decisions. We can then design precise variable rate prescriptions that will use less manure, water, seed and other farming inputs every crop year while properly managing our soils. By late 2015, we should be fully implemented in all aspects of variable rating including manuring, seeding and irrigation.
So, as you can see we have a lot of work ahead of us! Silver Reef Organic Farms is fully committed to becoming the best steward of the land, becoming more sustainable, utilizing fuel efficient tractor and state-of-the-art farming technologies, and continuing to be emission and carbon sensitive.