360-degree videos take consumers through entire corn-growing process.
Consumers are as interested as ever in what really happens on today’s farms.
So Illinois corn farmer Justin Durdan decided to “show and tell.”
Durdan spent 2016 offering consumers a personal, panoramic view of the season-long action on his family’s corn and soybean farm in LaSalle County through a series of pioneering, 360-degree videos.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board’s video series features the four key farming seasons – planning, planting, growing and harvest. It can be viewed by clicking here.
“We know consumers have questions about farming,” Durdan said. “The goal with these videos is to answer those questions and let consumers see for themselves what we do on our farm.”
The videos feature a Chicago-area radio personality and self-described “city girl” who questions Durdan about current farming practices and technologies. Durdan shows agricultural technologies he uses each season and how they help him be a good steward of the land.
For example, during the planning season, he uses ag software to analyze results from previous years to decide what to plant.
He then uses a precision-planting monitor during planting to control the number of seeds planted in each field while GPS helps reduce seed overlap.
During the growing season, Durdan uses precision technology in his sprayer to control the exact amount of herbicide and fertilizer applied to each plant, depending on plant needs.
And during harvest, Durdan’s combine removes the cob from the plant and the kernels from the cob, and turns the cob and plant residue into mulch for the next year’s crop.
Durdan, a fifth-generation farmer near Streator and president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association, believes it’s important to give consumers an honest look at advanced ag technologies.
“As farmers, we understand the sustainability benefits of today’s farm technologies – growing more food on less land with fewer pesticides – but consumers likely don’t,” he noted. “We need to keep sharing our story and explaining what we do and why.”
Video: This is one of the four videos in the series, showing corn planting. Other videos feature the growing season, pest management and harvest.