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July 27, 2023

Midland Radio partner, Jim McArthur turns to MicroMobile® GMRS Two-Way Radios for his peanut and cotton operation.

McArthur shared more about how GMRS two-way radios are revolutionizing the farm. 

ABOUT THE FARM

Jim McArthur helps run a peanut and cotton operation in Northern Florida with his dad.

His dad started the farm in 1974. While the younger McArthur grew up on the farm, it wasn't his dream to become a farmer. However, after years of living on the beach, he decided working on the farm would be the best decision.

“It isn’t a typical story, but it was definitely a smart move.”

Not only was it a practical decision, but McArthur has grown to love his time on the farm.  

“My favorite part of farming is definitely harvest. I always tell people that’s the Super Bowl of farming. Whether it’s picking cotton or picking peanuts, the work is busy and long, but it’s all the work you’ve put into all year long and you’re finally able to see it pay off.”

McArthur says it often surprises people to learn about how peanuts are grown and harvested.

“It sounds crazy, but I have so many people that have said, ‘I had no ideas peanuts grew in the ground.’ A lot of people assume they grow in a tree, but they grow in the ground and you’ve got to plow them up, pretty much flip them upside down, let them dry for three to four days, and then we can pick them.”

 

USING MICROMOBILE® GMRS TWO-WAY RADIOS

The farm uses Midland's MicroMobile® GMRS two-way radios to communication.

However, this wasn't the first exposure the farm had to Midland Radio.

“In the past, back in the 90’s, my dad before cellphones had the old school CBs in the truck and tractors. When cellphones came out, we got away from CBs and all that."

The farm then turned to cellphones, but that began to be problematic after Hurricane Michael hit in 2018.

"Since Hurricane Michael hit us in 2018, reception has been terrible, just a joke. We utilize two-way radios everyday to talk back and forth with the guys.”

McArthur and his operation use Midland's MXT115 MicroMobile® Two-Way Radio, MXT500 MicroMobile Two-Way Radios, and handhelds

“There’s not a day that goes by on the tractors where we’re not communicating through the MicroMobiles and handhelds.”

He said the use of Midland's MicroMobile® GMRS two-way radios has led to unprecedented efficiency on the farm.

“Years ago, you had to pick up your cellphone, call the guy, wait for him to pick up, but he still might not pick up or you might lose service. Now, you can just grab the radio and communicate. During peanut harvest, it’s crucial to communicate with the guy with the dump cart so you can know when it’s full. It’s instant communication- you can pick it up and talk to the guy right then.”

The combination of MicroMobiles and handhelds has been crucial to this improved efficiency.

“The MicroMobiles and handhelds work well together. You can have somebody trekking behind the peanut picker- so you’ve got the handheld and can tell them to slow down or speed up.”

 

JULY ON THE FARM

While harvest, typically September through November, is the busiest time of year, July is no walk in the park.

“July is a busy, busy month. We are spraying cotton, spraying peanuts, fungicide and herbicide on both. Hopefully, we’re getting plenty of rainfall, if not, we’re running irrigation like crazy which we’re currently doing. July is a very crucial month for peanuts. With peanuts you have got to make sure you have water  going to them, fertilizing, but mainly keeping all the irrigation running if it’s dry.”


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