Dr. Sam: Farm technology helps meet product demand

Dr. Sam Rehnborg and his daughter stand in a field of echinacea facing away from the camera toward a mountain vista on Trout Lake Farm. Dr. Sam has his arms in the air.

BY DR. SAM REHNBORG, GUEST CONTRIBUTOR


Nutrilite™ Immunity Echinacea has long been one of our most popular products. The team works hard to ensure there’s no need to worry about running out of echinacea plants.

From the field workers to the equipment operators to the manufacturing and processing teams, all hands are on deck to make sure the echinacea crop grown for the product thrives. And it all starts with something that may surprise you: Precision weeding.

Let no weed go to seed

“Never let a weed go to seed.” You’ll hear this catchy phrase often when you visit Trout Lake Farm. If you ask Phil Hintz, Trout Lake East Farm manager, you can’t hear it enough. Why? Although it may sound simple, it’s actually a process that has a profound effect.

In fact, precision weeding is a key reason why we are always able to meet the high demand for Nutrilite Immunity Echinacea.

Darwin Hintz, technology manager for Trout Lake Farm and Nutrilite Global Agribusiness, explains it best. If the weeds take over, you can lose your entire crop. But, unlike many farmers, organic farmers are unable to rely on conventional herbicides and pesticides.

We need another way to protect the crops yet keep costs down. For this, the team turns to the precision of GPS tractors.

Four GPS-controlled tractors turn up weeds in an echinacea field on the certified organic Nutrilite Farm in Trout Lake Washington.

Cutting time, labor and cost 

The Trout Lake Farm team has been steadily adding GPS tractors to their fleet of equipment. In this way, they have the most sophisticated satellite-driven technology at their disposal so they can consistently plant, grow and harvest crops with the precision needed to meet global demands for Nutrilite™ products.

These high-tech tractors are so precise that they weed within one-half inch on either side of a plant, even when the operator is not looking. With this precision, the hand-weeding crews only need to focus on the last inch.

Think about it, that’s barely the width of two fingers!

Hand weeding is a critical step, but it’s time-consuming, labor-intensive and a big cost of organic farming. GPS tractors help overcome all these challenges. Plus, this weed control process is so efficient, explains Darwin, that a quality crop can be harvested in one year rather than waiting two to three years.

Phil Hintz, Dr. Sam Rehnborg, Francesca Rehnborg and Darwin Hintz stand among the plants in an echinacea field on Trout Lake Farm.

Phil Hintz, Dr. Sam Rehnborg, Francesca Rehnborg and Darwin Hintz stand among the echinacea plants on the Nutrilite Trout Lake Farm.

Taking precision weeding to the extreme 

Trout Lake Farm has recently added four advanced GPS tractors. To me, these tractors are the trifecta of modern farming excellence: precision, economy and eco-friendly.

“Our latest GPS-equipped planter tractor adds new features that enable extreme precision and performance beyond our previous capabilities,” says Darwin. Like the cockpit of a jet, the cab is command central where the operator manages the entire process from multiple monitors.

“And don’t underestimate the value of the economy mode in our newest tractor purchases,” continues Darwin. With this feature, a tractor can maintain proper lubrication and better control engine speed and fuel use. Even the tire sizes are selected for optimum traction and minimal soil compaction.

Of course, this is all part of our “Best of nature” promise behind the product.

Prepared to meet the needs of today’s – and tomorrow’s – consumers

The Trout Lake Farm team continues to be on the leading edge of creative discovery and innovative farming practices. What’s more, they eagerly share what works – and what doesn’t – with other Nutrilite farms and farming partners around the world so they too can apply best practices for eco-friendly, organic farming that’s both productive and cost efficient.

So, the next time you reach for the product, I encourage you to think of the Trout Lake Farm team. Their commitment to precision weeding – and the thousands of other good decisions they make throughout the year – is a key reason people around the world can continue to benefit from Nutrilite™ Immunity Echinacea.

To read Dr. Sam’s full blog on precision weeding, visit drsamsblog.com.


Dr. Sam Rehnborg stands in a field at Nutrilite Trout Lake Farm in the U.S. state of Washington.Dr. Sam Rehnborg is the son of Carl Rehnborg, who founded the Nutrilite™ brand in 1934. Dr. Sam held many roles with the company over the years and now is president of the Nutrilite Health Institute. His passion is helping people achieve their potential through healthy living. You can learn more about him and read all his blogs at drsamsblog.com. Or, have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing to the RSS feed.

 


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