March 30, 2023
With less than a month until planting season, Jim McArthur, a farmer in Northern Florida is getting ready for the busy season ahead.
He spoke with Midland Radio about how two-way radios make a difference for them during planting season.
JIm McArthur's farm is in Northern Florida. The main crops are peanuts and cotton, but they also do a little oats. His dad founded the farm in 1974.
For him, watching his crops come to life is the most rewarding aspect of being a farmer.
“I just enjoy watching the crops grow. You put in all your money and effort in the crops. You get to see the progress throughout the year and then the harvest kicks off which is kind of like the Super Bowl. You get to earn what you’ve been working towards for so long.”
Farming in Florida, he said looks a lot different than in places like the Midwest.
“For Midwest guys, the soil is just so heavy and fertile. Here, everything we have is jut sand, beach sand. We’re constantly having to fertilize and petty much every acre is irrigated because everything leeches through the sand so easily.”
March means preparation for planting season.
“In March, we are breaking land. With peanuts, all of our peanut soil we deep tillage so we have a five-bottom plow so it’s called a break and plow that cuts down to like 12 inches or so which flips the dirt upside down.”
They'll start strip tilling for cotton and make sure that it's as suitable as possible.
“Mainly with the land, we're breaking it and cultivating it, try to get it as smooth and level much as possible. We also spray herbicide pre-plant. Sometimes we’ll even put a little pre-plant fertilizer out there and incorporate it into the soil.”
Preparation for planting season also includes ensuring there aren't any equipment issues.
“This time of year we definitely focus on getting all the tractors ready to go for planting, making sure everything is good to go.”
Planting for both the cotton and peanuts typically begins the third week of April.
McArthur said his operation couldn't get through planting season without reliable communication like two-way radios as cellphones aren't an option.
“In our part of the world, cellphone service is almost nonexistent. We had a huge hurricane here in 2018 and it hasn’t been the same since then so it’s so nice to be able to just pick up a radio and have someone there on the other end.”
With the help of two-way radios, they aren't having to worry about dropped calls throughout planting season.
“We’ve got them in the tractor and we’re just communicating a lot back and forth. Especially with peanuts, we’ll have a guy in the cultivator and I’m usually the one planting the peanuts. It’s nice to be able to communicate back and forth if you’ve got to move pivots out of the way.”
He said he appreciates the mobility of the handheld two-way radios.
“The handhelds are super easy because you can just pop them in your pocket. They’ve got great range.”
However, he loves the power that Midland's MicroMobile two-way radios provide.
“My favorite product is definitely the MicroMobiles that we have. They’re easy to move between tractors. They have amazing range and are easy to use with the handhelds.”
Level up communication on the farm with Midland.
Get $100 off $500 this planting season beginning March 15, 2023.