Field Notes
All members and guests met at Yoder’s in New Holland where car drivers and passengers gathered with those who came by bus (a magnificent luxurious touring vehicle with plenty of room) to then take us as one traveling unit to The Pioneer Hy-Bred International Research Farm in New Holland, where Pioneer Hy-Bred (a DuPont Company) has a tremendous genomic base to work with as they develop new combinations of plant genomes. Genomic research offers great promise in developing yielding crop varieties with greater disease, insect and mycotoxin resistance. As worldwide competition reduces the amount of high-production agricultural land, it is essential to have worldwide crop acreage yielding more produce per acre as efficiently as research and efficiency allows.

A tour of the clean-air laboratory research area demonstrated the many types of highly detailed research and intensive record-keeping imperative to success over a number of crop-producing seasons. This is Pioneer’s International Headquarters, but their research here is replicated in several hundred varied areas throughout the world, most recently several areas over China.

We were shown a magnified film-presentation of how individual seeds or grains are bisected to develop new genomes for new, hopefully improved strains of seeds. Absolutely essential to provide produce for the threat of world-wide future hunger.

When lunch at Yoder’s was first mentioned as part of our Fall field trip, it brought us to attention. And the results satisfied our spontaneous reaction. The incredible variety left no one wanting – even the iced tea was exceptional, let alone the desserts. How can they do this every day? All part of Lancaster County heritage.

We broke into groups of a dozen for an extensive plant tour covering acres under roof at The Headquarters of New Holland Agriculture of North America. In an extremely competitive market (much more so than automobiles, it seemed), computer-manufactured parts and assembly, highly-trained and flexible production personnel in a clean, fresh air atmosphere is an essential standard to remain competitive.

Our tour guides who were now in marketing were essentially engineers who had spent several years in manufacturing “on the line”. They reviewed New Holland Agriculture original distinction was the hay-bailer, a choice of round or rectangular bales. Many farmers prefer one, but not the other.

After the hour-long tour, the entire group gathered for presentation on precision farming – specifically planting , cultivating and harvesting the crop so efficiently that the optimum harvest is the difference between survival and a profitable yield. And we were offered New Holland ball caps and key chains.

A thoroughly educational and informative field trip. How essential it is to keep current!