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 Farm East Farm Manger, 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 able to meet the always 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 conventional farmers, organic farmers are unable to rely on conventional herbicides and pesticides. We need another way to save crops, yet keep costs down. For this, the team turns to the precision of GPS tractors.
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 is 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.
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.
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- Randolph RK, Gellenbeck K, Stonebrook K, et al. Regulation of human immune gene expression as influenced by a commercial blended Echinacea product: preliminary studies. Exp Biol Med. 2003;228(9):1051-6. PMID: 14530514.