How Triple H Farms continues to find pride after four generations of farming
In the foothills of the Rocky Mountains lies Triple H Farms. Fourth generation farmer, Devin Hartzler, and his father, Len Hartzler, farm the land that Len’s Grandfather bought 113 years ago.
In the foothills of the Rocky Mountains lies Triple H Farms. Fourth generation farmer, Devin Hartzler, and his father, Len Hartzler, farm the land that Len’s Grandfather bought 113 years ago. The farm is picturesque, with rolling hills of green and yellow with mountains in the distance. Devin was happy to share a few of the stunning photos he has captured with his drone and camera – with no exaggeration, they belong on the front of a postcard.
But with the breathtaking views comes some challenges. Because they are so close to the mountains, their growing season is arguably one of the shortest in Canada, especially for how far south they are. Therefore, to make their canola purchasing decisions, Len and Devin rely heavily on the results of the DEKALB® Market Development (MD) trials they do with local DEKALB® Agronomist, Erin McDougall. Devin said the best part of doing MD trials is having the data from their own land. He further explained, "it also allows you to develop a better relationship with the DEKALB® Agronomists, which is added value." Erin admires the Hartzler’s drive to try to better their operation "I appreciate their willingness to try new things to try to find the right fit for their farm and improve their operation. They are such genuine people and it is so much fun to work with them."
Devin and Len discuss straight cutting canola with their DEKALB® agonomist, Erin Mcdougall
Len and Devin also use MD trials as an opportunity to try out new hybrids on their land. DEKALB® 74-44 BL was their hybrid of choice for years, but after seeing DEKALB® 75-45 RR out yield everything in their MD trials over the last two years, they made a switch. They like the combination of early maturity and high yield potential that 75-45 RR offers, and says it’s a good fit for their farm.
Although they haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet, the Hartzler’s are interested in straight cutting canola. The time savings straight cutting offers is appealing to Devin. They tried out DEKALB® 75-65 RR last year, but didn’t get the chance to straight cut it because of weather conditions. Len explained that he still saw the benefits in growing 75-65 RR even without straight cutting it; "Whether we straight cut 75-65 RR or not, I like having the option. If it gets to be a crunch in the fall, we can let it sit. It gives you the freedom to let it go and swath it last if you need too, giving us more flexibility at harvest."
One decision they don’t usually need to make is whether to grow Genuity® Roundup Ready® canola. "When Genuity® Roundup Ready canola first came out, we were in with both feet right away," Len said. "The Roundup Ready system cleans up our field more than anything else," Devin added, which they explained is a huge benefit for their seed production business.
Like Devin and Len, Devin’s three kids, Anson (13), Sarahna (11), and Mattias (8) are also growing up on the farm. And although they are still quite young, the 5th generation is already contributing to the operation. Devin’s youngest son, Mattias helps his Dad and Grandpa around the farm as often as they will let him. Devin laughed about how coincidental it was that the only times Mattias has "felt sick" and has had to stay home from school has been during combining season. If Mattias’s passion for farming is anything like his Dad’s and Grandpa’s, Triple H Farms will be in good hands for many generations to come.
We thank the Hartzler family for choosing DEKALB® Brand seed for their farm and wish them a safe and successful harvest this year and for many generations to come. Check out the results of the Triple H Farms canola trial and other farm-managed Market Development trials on DEKALB.ca this fall.