FFT August 2022

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$7.95

TITLE | SECTION

August 2022

ENTREPRENEURS IN AGRICULTURE

Future Frontier

Embracing agtech, Carlson Ag expands across acres and borders

Bringing the Conference to the Field 1


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Publishers

Pat Ottmann & Tim Ottmann

Editor

Natalie Noble

Design

Cole Ottmann

Regular Contributors

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Kevin Hursh Tammy Jones Paul Kuntz

Scott Shiels Tom Wolf

Copy EditorS

Future Frontier By Natalie Noble

05

A Farmer’s Viewpoint

Learning From New Mistakes

Nikki Mullett Nerissa McNaughton

Sales

Pat Ottmann pat@farmingfortomorrow.ca 587-774-7619 Nancy Bielecki nancy@farmingfortomorrow.ca 587-774-7618 Chloe MacEachern chloe@farmingfortomorrow.ca 587-774-7622

by Kevin Hursh

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AgSmart

Bringing the Conference to the Field by AgSmart

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Smart Farm

Olds College Smart Farm by Janice Tuff

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Software

Farm Management Software: What You Need to Know by Lisa Kopochinski 4

/farming4tomorrow /FFTMagazine /farming-for-tomorrow /farmingfortomorrow WWW.FARMINGFORTOMORROW.CA Farming For Tomorrow is delivered to 90,720 farm and agribusiness addresses every second month. The areas of distribution include Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Peace region of B.C. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the content of any advertisement, and all representations of warranties made in such advertisements are those of the advertiser and not of the publisher. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Canadian Publications mail sales product agreement no. 41126516.


LEARNING FROM NEW MISTAKES | A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT

Learning from New Mistakes Despite all the advances in agronomy, technology and equipment, mistakes can and do screw up the best-intentioned plans. Kevin Hursh, P.Ag. Kevin Hursh is one of the country’s leading agricultural commentators. He is an agrologist, journalist and farmer. Kevin and his wife Marlene run Hursh Consulting & Communications based in Saskatoon. They also own and operate a farm near Cabri in southwest Saskatchewan growing a wide variety of crops. Kevin writes for a number of agricultural publications and serves as executive director for the Canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan and the Inland Terminal Association of Canada (ITAC). Twitter: @KevinHursh1

Of course, you test your seed for germ, vigour and disease before it goes in the ground. Increasingly, producers calculate thousand kernel weight and estimate plant survival to achieve optimal plant density. Soil tests and agronomic advice provide confidence in the fertilizer mix and rates to use. Appropriate weed control is employed. Debate is still active on whether variable rate technology is a paying proposition, but gradually agronomic advisors are developing workable approaches. While adoption has been much slower than forecast, there’s progress. Unfortunately, even if you employ all the best technology, you can screw up with one simple mistake, such as seeding the crop too deep. All the best practices and good intentions can go out the window. Suddenly, plant emergence isn’t what you expect and the crop won’t reach maximum potential. Systems are integrated. One weak link in the chain can undo the best plans. That might be germination rate, seeding depth, weed control, chemical residue, fertility, insect pressure, disease or a host of other factors. Supposedly, we learn from our mistakes. If that’s true, I should be quite smart by now. Here are some of my “learnings” from this spring. Mustard is a minor acreage crop grown in Southern Saskatchewan and Alberta and I’m a brown mustard grower. While this probably isn’t a crop you grow, you may relate to some of the problems I encountered with it this spring. A couple fields of the mustard were seeded on land seeded to peas two years ago – fields where Viper herbicide had been applied. You’re not supposed to seed mustard the year after a Viper application. This year, the company extended that to two years in the case of a drought year like 2021. 5


A FARMER’S VIEWPOINT

Systems are integrated. One weak link in the chain can undo the best plans. That might be germination rate, seeding depth, weed control, chemical residue, fertility, insect pressure, disease or a host of other factors. That part of their revamped residue advice didn’t get a lot of attention and I missed it. As a result, those mustard fields have struggled and I had to do a bit of reseeding due to a low plant stand. My mustard was also affected by the use of the pre-seed herbicide Authority. Authority is great for kochia control and it’s registered for chickpeas, flax, field peas, even spring wheat and durum. Mustard tolerance to Authority isn’t as good as many other crops, but a number of years ago Authority was registered at the low rate for use on mustard. On some of my fields, I used Authority before seeding mustard. On others I did not. In all cases, the fields without Authority have more plants and more vigorous plants. On one field, there’s a sprayer miss that received no glyphosate or Authority in the pre-seed application. The miss has a lot of weeds, but also a dramatically healthier stand of mustard. I’ll continue to use Authority on mustard because kochia control is very important, but I may cut the rate below the recommended maximum. As with canola, flea beetles can be a problem in brown mustard and that was certainly the case this spring. Makes you wonder how bad it would have been without seed treatment. I didn’t end up spraying for flea beetles, but they were certainly hard on the crop stand. Seeding depth is another worry. You initially check depth carefully until you’re happy with placement, but I’m guilty of not checking it on every field. On lighter land, packer wheels don’t carry the same coating of mud and that can alter the seed depth. Some fields are also softer than others and the drill sinks in more. Mustard is more finnicky to grow than many crops, but the same principles apply no matter what you’re putting in the ground. A function of crop production being continually more agronomically and technologically advanced is all the new mistakes you can make, and hopefully, learn from. 6


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COVER STORY | FUTURE FRONTIER

FUTURE

FRONTIER

Embracing agtech, Carlson Ag expands across acres and borders By Natalie Noble

Jeff, Joshua and Carter Carlson pride themselves on being early adopters of broad acre farming technologies, including testing autonomous equipment across their acres. 8


FUTURE FRONTIER | COVER STORY Not so long ago, self-driving tractors and technology allowing one person to remotely operate multiple machines might have seemed a futuristic science fiction film. It’s becoming the norm at Carlson Ag today. “Just as our early adoption of zero till practices in the 1990s allowed us to leverage our machinery, cover more acres, enable better utilization and expand our farm, I believe the autonomous movement has the same potential,” says owner Jeff Carlson. “We choose to be an early adopter because it enables us to utilize technological advances in a smarter way and apply that to broader acres in the economical business sense.” The fifth-generation operation founded near Trochu, Alta. in 1904 has continuously expanded to 11,000 acres, as well as across the border into Saskatchewan with a second 7,000acre farm near Carnduff established in 2011. The newest partnership sees the forward-focused family working with Olds College Smart Farm in Olds, Alberta and Craik, Sask., a great fit as the Carlsons enthusiastically embrace new technology, even in its experimental phases. At a time where many farmers face either a lack of interest in their next generation or more children wanting to stay on than the operation can sustain, Jeff is proud to have his entire family living on family land all within half an hour of the original home base. “Although, not everyone works on the farm. We have lawyers, engineers, accountants, teachers and construction project managers in our immediate family with some still developing careers,” says Jeff. “All my family have turned out to be exceptional people, excelling in their careers and passionate about what they’re doing.” Actively running the farm, growing canola, malt barley, wheat and peas, are Jeff and wife Arlene, their sons Joshua with wife Carmen and Carter with wife Sidney. As a group, they’re big on heritage, stewardship and progress. “We’re just so proud to work with them and we’re having a lot of fun working together,” says Jeff. One has to wonder what Oscar Carlson, Jeff’s great grandfather who immigrated from Sweden to start the farm, would think if he could see autonomous machines traveling across those fields where he grew grain and raised large working horses. “He was 16 at the time he arrived and I don’t think he ever went back,” says Jeff. But Jeff and the family recently visited their roots in Sweden, experiencing a full-circle moment. “We all drove in a bus all the way across the country,” says Jeff. “I would say that there’s no land we saw in Sweden that’s better than the land we have here. So, he made a great decision for our family.” After World War II, Jeff’s grandfather Robert took the reins

“As a multi-generational farm, we have learned to be proactive in cross training and transitioning roles to allow for the growth of new young talent and ideas. It’s a stewardship model and perspective that gives all involved a chance to succeed.” - Jeff Carlson from Oscar, growing the farm to 2,000 acres. In the late ‘60s, his parents, Doug and Bonnie began to spend time on the farm and started farming full time in 1972, more than doubling the farm’s size to 4,200 acres. Doug was an early adopter of continuous cropping in the 1970s. At the same time, he set up a fertilizer business, growing it out of local demand for increased fertility products. With multilocations, it remains one of Alberta’s oldest independent dealerships, having grown under the skilled management of family partners, Lawrence and Bobbie Bauer. “My father is still active in it,” says Jeff. “I have been involved in an advisory role which helps in the timing of farm inputs and keeping up with changes in fertilizer and chemical products.” Since Jeff and Arlene joined in 1992, Carlson Ag has grown to over 18,000 acres and counting across the three locations. Jeff credits much of that success to excellent leadership skills passed down by his father that he, in turn, is now passing on to his sons. “As a multi-generational farm, we have learned to be proactive in cross training and transitioning roles to allow for the growth of new young talent and ideas. It’s a stewardship model and perspective that gives all involved a chance to succeed,” says Jeff. “My dad did an exceptional job in managing the farm’s transition to Arlene and me. He was proactive and had discussions with me even earlier than anticipated.” Jeff believes gradually letting go sooner is important. “It enables the youth a different skill set to rise up and benefit the farm. This is both from a continuity and a growth perspective,” he says, adding that his dad took a unique management approach. “That model of waiting for one generation to move off the land that supports them so the second generation can move on is cannibalistic because you’re both having to derive your income from the same land base.” Instead, Doug encouraged Jeff to go out on his own first. “My father supported me by allowing me to use machinery and 9


COVER STORY | FUTURE FRONTIER

Four generations of Carlsons gather on the farm. From left to right: Carter, Joshua, Carmen, Deneah, Kennedy, Kyle, Bonnie, Doug, Arlene, Jeff, Alyssa and Kale.

rent land, he certainly helped me in buying some of our first land together,” says Jeff. “But, as far as the overall growth, his attitude was that I should go get, and rent, my own land and build my own farm, not just take over his land.”

So, they broke 39 pastures of hay land, removed fencing and improved dilapidated structures across the parcel to convert it to more valuable cropland. Meanwhile, the Olds College collaboration to the north in Craik is in its first year.

At the same time, Jeff prioritized his education as is the case with his own kids. He earned both his Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees from the University of Calgary. “The combination of business and law have opened doors to invest and move forward in exciting circles including land development, hotel ownership, oil and gas production and service operation experience,” says Jeff. “This education changed my approach to farming. On one hand it introduced a range of other opportunities but it also helped cement the lifestyle Arlene and I wanted, which was to farm.”

The Carlsons aim to continue the farm’s tradition of continuous growth in acres, as well as upping their production value by venturing into new crops. “We’re starting to look at alternative crops even as a broad acre farm,” says Jeff. “Carter’s been talking with an individual looking to try some newer crops like potatoes here that would require different machinery and be destined for a different end-use.”

That decision not just to farm, but to grow the business, soon saw Jeff look east across the border and expand into southeast Saskatchewan. When provincial laws there opened up to allow for interprovincial ownership of Saskatchewan land, pulling the trigger on the Carnduff expansion made good economic sense. “The land was undervalued from a productive value compared to the Alberta land. That, along with the ability to find and put together a large package more easily than we could do here made that decision clear to see,” says Jeff. 10

How do they plan to achieve these goals? With the latest in technology, of course. “We continue to work on refining systems in the field and sharing information from our own research and experience,” says Jeff. It’s a legacy the family’s long believed in, including that early implementation of zero-till seeding in the 1990s. “That was an exact example of the right time for one generation to take their hands off the wheel and allow a new generation to take hold,” says Jeff. “My father’s realization and support in this enabled me to take over the farm.” Next, in the 2000s, it was variable rate fertility and auto


FUTURE FRONTIER | COVER STORY

“We continue to work on refining systems in the field and sharing information from our own research and experience,” - Jeff Carlson As these products have now entered the commercial market to be sold, Joshua says the return on investment is already clear to see, especially in valuable time savings. “There’s a quantifiable improvement you can see, especially with the sprayer and the spreader. We can put them in the field, essentially press play, and return in a few hours,” he says. That knack for exploration is important to facilitating progress for all of Canadian agriculture. “The research and development people and the inventors of these technologies, we’re thankful for them, but they spend an awful lot of money figuring things out,” says Jeff. “So, we like to be the ones who are the first to adopt just after it’s been figured out. We have to implement each new technology we’re bringing on and then systematize it over larger acres.”

steering technologies the Carlson’s welcomed. “We continue to try out and monitor other technological advances that bring value to large broadacre farming,” says Jeff. “We are currently using satellite imagery to scout crops, determine yields and control equipment.” Today, Joshua and Carter join that tradition as the family works closely with Olds College in the adoption of autonomous farming. “We’ve been working alongside OMNI and Raven for years now,” says Joshua. “We have seen the original concepts through to the initial creation and prototypes, field tests and then continued further development with that autonomous equipment. We can see there’s a lot of potential, and still a lot to figure out before people can run and trust it at full capacity in fields on its own.” Already, the Carlsons are realizing great potential in these advances in the ability for the farmer to simultaneously oversee multiple pieces of equipment, a major time saver. Aligned in their vision with Olds College, partnering up just made sense. “They have an autonomous seeder, sprayer and spreader we’ve used on our land,” says Joshua. “Over the last three years we’ve brought them out and used our acres to provide Olds College more testing acres to continue ironing out the wrinkles and the college has been exceptional to work with.”

It’s that strategic growth of their acreage that supports such innovation. “I have always said our land base has been really good because over five generations, we’ve been able to trade our way into a really good land package and have had the support of amazing landlords who have trusted us to steward their land over 25 years,” says Jeff. “Even though you can leverage all these advancing technologies, it’s still always better to start off with good land. If you’re starting with marginal land, everything is compromised.” It also takes the right people who care for the land the same way. “Our farm has always been reliant on good people to help build and maintain it over the years,” says Jeff. “I’ve had the same person working for me who just went into retirement after nearly 30 years. Most of our managers and long-term employees stay with us for a decade or longer. We really appreciate the value and continuity provided by reliable people who choose to spend their career with us.” Central to that team have been farm manager Earl Silinski and his family. Silinski brings farm management and agronomic training along with a mechanical skill set that serves the operation well. As the new generation is transitioning in, Joshua brings an engineering education and Carmen offers business training with supply chain experience. Carter’s business and accounting training round out the necessary expertise for the growing business. 11


COVER STORY | FUTURE FRONTIER

Over five generations, the Carlsons have continuously expanded their original farm near Trochu, Alta. and added two Saskatchewan locations.

“We’ve been working alongside OMNI and Raven for years now. We have seen the original concepts through to the initial creation and prototypes, field tests and then continued further development with that autonomous equipment. We can see there’s a lot of potential, and still a lot to figure out before people can run and trust it at full capacity in fields on its own.” - Joshua Carlson “We are in the initial stages of adopting some of these skill sets, learning to work together as a team, and refining everyone’s strengths so people can be in the areas where they’re most comfortable, and bring the most value,” says Jeff. “We’re working to make communication the biggest priority within our group. As you work together as a family, it’s really important to have those tough discussions when you need to and for everyone to really be honest with each other. We can say, there’s a lot more smiles than frowns so far.” As each growing season wraps safely and successfully, the entire Carlson Ag team, including spouses, takes a break and enjoys a harvest dinner. “That end of harvest happens in any imaginable weather pattern. We’ve had snow the minute all the 12

combines rolled in. We’ll open up the shop, sit around with some cold drinks and breathe a big sigh of relief,” says Jeff. “Once the dust settles, we all go out on the town in either Calgary or Red Deer for a great dinner together in celebration.” Next, it’s time for reflection and planning a new season, including evaluating the ways new technologies are impacting production. “Large broadacre farms in the Prairies can be run very efficiently, especially with all the new applications of technology,” says Jeff. “The amount of food volume and value produced by a well-run, experienced team can be amazingly impressive. If one calculates that caloric value of the food we produce, our operation produces enough to feed a small city. This makes it easy to get up every morning and excel.”


AGSMART

PROGRAM Innovation. Education. Demonstration.

August 9 & 10, 2022 Olds College AgSmartOlds.ca

Produced by:

AgSmartOlds 13


AGSMART | SITE MAP

Growing Profits with Data

Innovation. Education. Demonstration.

MAP AgSmart Entrance F

AgSmartOlds.ca 14

Scan to view the detailed exhibitors map

facebook-squareTwitterInstagram AgSmartOlds


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AGSMART | TICKET SALES

Demo Highlights

Visit AgSmartOlds.ca for the full, up-to-date Demo listing! ROCKY MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT Guardian Sprayer

OLDS COLLEGE OMNiPOWER

LANDVIEW DRONES Drone Demos

FLOKK Herd Management and Traceability

Scan to purchase your tickets starting at $60* *plus applicable fees

ONECUP AI

CROPLANDS EQUIPMENT PTY LTD

BETSY - Computer Vision at the Farm

WEED-IT Precision Spraying Technology

OLDS COLLEGE Swarm Robotics in Agriculture

OLDS COLLEGE TMR Feed Technology

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Over 100 exhibits profiling the ag tech industry! Visit AgSmartOlds.ca for a complete listing plus the 2022 Digital Ag Tech Directory.

AgSmartOlds.ca 16

AgSmartOlds



AGSMART | BRINGING THE CONFERENCE TO THE FIELD

BRINGING THE CONFERENCE TO THE FIELD AgSmart, proudly produced by Olds College, is a must-see educational expo focused on data and technology across the agriculture industry. Taking place August 9 and 10, 2022 at Olds College, producers and industry are gathering to see the latest innovations being demonstrated, hear from industry experts, and engage with leading innovation-focused exhibits. This unique expo format brings the conference outdoors to showcase why it makes sense to invest in equipment and technology to capture data, and how to implement that data to increase productivity and profitability for farm operations. “It is a big year for AgSmart. The expo is evolving along with the rapidly changing ag tech and data segment of the industry,” says Stacy Felkar, event co-manager. “With 50 expert educational sessions, live demos, and around 100 interactive exhibits-there is a lot for producers and industry to take in over the two days.” 18

IT’S A 24/7 JOB BUT WE DON’T NEED TO TELL YOU THAT We know reliability matters to you, that’s why FortisAlberta is proud to support AgSmart. By supporting our communities, we help build a strong Alberta — by touching the lives of many people as a neighbour and business partner, and by delivering safe and reliable electricity service to over 240 communities. If you have a question regarding any aspect of the delivery of your electricity distribution service, a safety concern or need to report a power outage you can connect with us by calling 310-WIRE (9473) or at online at FortisAlberta.com. Follow us: Social icon

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While this is the third edition of the expo, its roots go back to five years ago when Olds College was meeting with industry partners.

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“During our initial discussions about creating the Olds College Smart Farm, the agriculture industry identified a gap in how producers can use technology, as well as collect and analyze data, to improve farming operations,” says Patrick Machacek, vice-president, development & strategy at Olds College. “We developed AgSmart as a new type of hands-on educational event focused on ag tech and data to address this gap.” Since AgSmart began, there have been many developments in the industry which keep the innovations and ideas fresh at the expo. The Initiators Program supports ag tech startup engagement at AgSmart with Grain Discovery being one of the showcased startups. “We are thrilled to be participating at AgSmart again this year,” says Jake Schapelhouman from Grain Discovery. “Our technology streamlines the manual and time-consuming tasks currently involved in buying and selling grain and we know new Western Canadian customers would love our features like live bids and an industry-first instant contract confirmation. Farmers have a story to tell and we want to showcase

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AGRICULTURE NOVEMBER 9-11, 2022 RED DEER, ALBERTA AGRI-TRADE.COM

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DIGITAL AG TECH Directory

Our digital ag tech directory is designed to assist in producers. The interactive listings include education

agsmartolds.ca/digital-ag-tech-d 20


BETSY that narrative and provide a simple, digital solution to their grain needs.”

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Every farming operation is at a different level of technology adoption. Whether producers are early adopters or just starting to look at tech options for their farm, there will be something new for them to learn and explore at AgSmart. Educational sessions have a crop and livestock focus with a range of topics including optical spot spraying, virtual fencing, and integrating tech and data on a traditional farm. AgSmart is also a great opportunity to learn more about the Olds College Smart Farm and its projects, which will be featured in the Olds College interactive exhibit, educational sessions and demonstrations. There will also be opportunities to take a tour of the Smart Farm during AgSmart to see how research projects are integrated into the farming operations to help producers make informed decisions about implementing technology in their own operations. Also new this year, Dentons will be hosting their Ag Tech Pitch Competition Finals with AgSmart on August 10. The top three finalists will present their innovation, and a panel of judges selects the winner. Purchase tickets and check out the complete schedule at AgSmartOlds.ca.

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Mental health isn’t something we talk about. to ignore

Mental health isn’t something It’s time to start changing the way we talk something about farmers and farming. Mental health isn’t re we might need a little nosometimes we talk about. o igelse, To recognize that just liket anyone e r o n ig we talk about. o t help dealing with issues like stress, anxiety, and depression. That’s why the

s time to start changing the way we talk about farmers and farming.

Do More Agriculture Foundation is here, ready to provide access to mental

recognize like anyone else, weabout mightfarmers need a little It’sthat timejust to start changing thesometimes way we talk and farming.

health resources like counselling, training andweeducation, specifically elp dealing with issues likejust stress, whyneed the tailored To recognize that like anxiety, anyone and else,depression. sometimes That’s might a little

to the needs of issues Canadian farmers and their families. o More Agriculture Foundation is here, ready to provide access to mental help dealing with like stress, anxiety, and depression. That’s why the

ealth resources like counselling, training and education, tailored specifically Do More Agriculture Foundation is here, ready to provide access to mental

Mental health isn’t something to the needs of Canadian farmers and their families. we talk about. to ignore

the needs of Canadian and their families. health resourcesfarmers like counselling, training and education, tailored specifically

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AGSMART | SPEAKER SCHEDULE

Day 1 - August 9 Educational Sessions Day 1 - August 9 Educational Sessions Time

Tent 1

8:30 a.m. Gates Open

Time

Tent 1

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 8:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Tent 2

Tent 3

Tent 4

Tent 5

Tent 2

Tent 3

Tent 4

Tent 5

Exhibits Open Gates Open Exhibits, Networking & Coffee Exhibits Open

OCRAE (Olds College Freely Available Remote Ag EcoSystem) Weather Exhibits, Networking & Forecasting Coffee Resources useful to 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Ravneet support of Agricultural OCRAESingh, (Olds College Freely Available Olds College Remote Ag EcoSystem) decision Weathermakers Forecasting Resources useful to Brian Proctor Ravneet Singh, support of Agricultural Olds College decision makers Brian Proctor 10:15 a.m. - 11 a.m. Exhibits & Travel to Next Session 10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. 10:15 a.m. - 11 a.m. 11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. 10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. 11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. 1:15 p.m. - 2 p.m. 11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. 1:15 p.m. - 2 p.m.

2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Managing Interest Rate Risk on your Current or Future Borrowings in a Managing Interest Volatile Interest Rate Rate Risk on your Environment Current or Future Borrowings in a Quinn Durrant, Volatile Interest Rate RBC Capital Markets Environment

Roles of Companies in a Carbon Neutral Reality Roles of Companies Panel Discussion in a Carbon Neutral Reality Panel Discussion

Hail Damage HyperLayer concept: Exploring how data Classification in Barley next generation of and technology can Olds College & AFSC AnnouncementTent 1 using Drone Imagery predictive analytics in drive better production agriculture outcomes, Hail Damage HyperLayer concept: Exploring animal how data George Gaeke & in BobBarley next generation of health and traceability Classification and technology can Hoffos, Dr. Alex Melnitchouck, using Drone Imagery predictive analytics in drive better production Olds College Olds College Dr. Natasha Kutryk, agriculture outcomes, animal George Gaeke & Bob healthAgriculture and traceability TELUS Hoffos, Dr. Alex Melnitchouck, Olds CollegeNetworkingOlds College Dr. Natasha Kutryk, Lunch, & Exhibits TELUS Agriculture Breeding Innovations Data Ownership and A Journey to inLunch, Feed and Networking Forage Privacy Developing BETSY your & Exhibits Barleys AI Ranchhand with Danielle Dudelzak, and Producer Collaboration Breeding Innovations Data Ownership A Journey to Yadeta Kabeta & Dr. Dentons in Feed and Forage PrivacyCanada LLP Developing BETSY your Jennifer Mokah & Geoff with BarleysZantinge, AI Ranchhand FCDC, Olds College Shmigelsky, Danielle Dudelzak, Producer Collaboration OneCup AI Yadeta Kabeta & Dr. Dentons Canada LLP Jennifer Zantinge, Mokah & Geoff Exhibits & Travel to Next Session FCDC, Olds College Shmigelsky, OneCup AI New Ways to do Old Utilizing Nutritional Using Data to Optimize Business Improve Farm Profitability Exhibits & Travel Strategies to Next toSession the Bottom Line Steve Shea Ferster NewLiebel, Ways to do Old Utilizing Nutritional Using Data&toColin Optimize AgExpert Darrell Hickman, Business Strategies to Improve Wenngatz, Farm Profitability Trouw NutritionLine MNP LLP. the Bottom Steve Liebel, Shea Ferster & Colin AgExpert Darrell Hickman, Wenngatz, Trouw Nutrition MNP LLP.

Virtual cattle fencing - A novel approach for grazing management Virtual cattle fencing Panel Discussion - A novel approach for grazing management Panel Discussion

Transitioning the Traditional Farm with Technology & Data Transitioning the Panel Discussion Traditional Farm with Technology & Data Panel Discussion

Discussion about Adaption of Autonomy to Broad Acre Farming Discussion about Panel Discussion Adaption of Autonomy to Broad Acre Farming Panel Discussion

3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Networking & Exhibits

4:15 p.m. - 5 p.m. Olds College Continuing Autonomous Ag - What Heather GettingClair, Started with Education is it? Precision Precision AI Agronomy Olds College Continuing 5 p.m. Gates EducationClose

Heather Clair, Precision AI

ATB Wealth

Quinn Durrant, RBC Capital Markets

Olds College & AFSC Announcement- Tent 1 Exhibits & Travel to Next Session

4:15 p.m. - 5 p.m. Autonomous Ag - What Getting Started with 3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. isNetworking it? Precision Agronomy & Exhibits

Succession Planning and the Future of the Farm Succession Planning ATB andWealth the Future of the Farm

Moonshots: Leveraging accelerators to grow your business, fast! Moonshots: Leveraging John Cassidy, to grow accelerators yourTHRIVE business, fast! SVG John Cassidy, SVG THRIVE

Herd Improvement by Data Informed Decision Making Herd Improvement Livestock Panel by Data Gentec Informed Decision Making Livestock Gentec Panel

Triticale Production and Utilization in Western Canada Triticale Production Mazen Aljarrah, in and Utilization FCDC, OldsCanada College Western Mazen Aljarrah, FCDC, Olds College Putting Data Layers To Work Lara de Moissac, Putting Data Layers To SWAT WorkMaps Lara de Moissac, SWAT Maps

Performance of Optical Spot Spraying Technologies in Conventional, Performance Dryland of Farming in Western Optical Spot Spraying Canada Technologies in Conventional, Dryland Shabeg Briar, Farming in Western Olds College Canada Shabeg Briar, Olds College Soil Moisture and Temperature Probes: The OC Experience Soil Moisture and Daniel Stefner, Probes: Temperature TheCollege OC Experience Olds Daniel Stefner, Olds College

5 p.m. Gates Close

Schedule subject to change, visit AgSmartOld.ca/schedule

Schedule subject to change

Schedule subject to change, visit AgSmartOld.ca/schedule 24

Schedule subject to change


Day 1 - August 9 Demos Day 1 - August 9 Demos Time

Crop Plots

Drone Demo

Field Demo

Time Crop Plots 8:30 a.m. Gates Open

Drone Demo

Field Demo

SPEAKER SCHEDULE | AGSMART

Livestock Demo Livestock Demo

Video Demo Tent Video Demo Tent

8:30 a.m.8:30 - 5 p.m. Open a.m. Exhibits Gates Open 8:308:30 a.m.a.m. - 9:30 Networking & Coffee - 5a.m. p.m. Exhibits, Exhibits Open 10 a.m. - 10:30 of FCDC's Drone&Spraying Use 8:30 a.m. - 9:30a.m. a.m. Showcase Exhibits, Networking Coffee Newest Varieties Cases In Agriculture 10 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. Showcase of FCDC's Drone Spraying Use FCDC, Olds College Strongfield Newest Varieties Cases In Agriculture Environemental FCDC, Olds College Strongfield Environemental

FAE Equipment Demo

Drones for Livestock

FAE Canada Ltd. FAEWestern Equipment Demo

Landview Drones Drones for Livestock

FAE Western Canada Ltd.

Landview Drones

FortisAlberta

10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Exhibits & Travel to Next Session

10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Exhibits & Travel to Next Session

11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.

Your First Drone Flight

SWAT MAPS Demo

Landview Your FirstDrones Drone Flight

Croptimistic Technology SWAT MAPS Demo Inc. Croptimistic Technology Inc.

The Next Generation of Wheat 11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. The Next Generation of Alberta WheatWheat Alberta Wheat

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Landview Drones

Exhibits & Travel to Next Session

21:30 p.m.p.m. - 2:30 a highly - 2p.m. p.m. EnVoy, Exhibits & Travel concentrated for broad 2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. biostimulant EnVoy, a highly acre & row crops concentrated biostimulant for broad Acadian Plantcrops Health acre & row

Drones/UAV’s for Field to Next Session

Planning, Field mapping, Routing and launching Planning, Fieldan Autonomous field mapping, Routing mission and launching an Autonomous field Olds College mission

Scouting Drones/UAV’s for Field Ag Business & Crop Inc. Scouting

Student Driven Autonomous Tractor Student Driven Olds College Tractor Autonomous

Ag Business & Crop Inc.

Olds College

OneCup AI

TMR Feed Mixology Olds TMRCollege Feed Mixology Olds College

Swarm Robots in Agriculture Swarm Robots in Olds College Agriculture Olds College

Herd Management & Traceability Where it Belongs. At the Herd.& Herd Management Traceability Where it Flokk Belongs. At the Herd. Flokk

Grain Discovery Grain Marketing Grain Discovery Grain Grain Discovery Marketing Grain Discovery

Networking & Exhibits

3:30p.m.-3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Seed – Strong. Swarm Spraying 2:30 p.m. Alliance Networking & Exhibits Vigorous. Dependable Drones 3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Alliance Seed – Strong. Swarm Spraying Alliance Seed Vigorous. Dependable Landview Drones & Ag Business & Crop Inc. Alliance Seed Landview & Ag Business & Crop Inc. 5 p.m. Gates Close 5 p.m.

Livestock Gentec

BETSY - Computer Vision at the Farm BETSY - Computer OneCup AI the Farm Vision at

Olds College

Acadian Plant Health 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

Replacement heifer selection using genomic tools heifer Replacement selection using Livestock genomicGentec tools

Lunch, Networking & Exhibits

1 p.m.a.m. - 1:30 MAPIT Drone 11:30 - 1p.m. p.m. WEED-IT Lunch,Precision Networking & Exhibits Spraying Technology Demonstration 1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Demo WEED-IT Precision MAPIT Drone MAPIT Spraying Technology Demonstration Croplands Demo Equipment MAPIT Croplands Equipment 1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.

We don’t mean to shock you, but this could savemean your to life! We don’t shock you, but this FortisAlberta could save your life!

Guardian Sprayer Rocky Mountain Guardian Sprayer Equipment Rocky Mountain Equipment

What is Hidden Under the Hide? What is Hidden Under Windy Ridge Ultrasound & the Hide? Olds College Windy Ridge Ultrasound & Olds College

New Applications of Daily Satellite Data inNew Ag Applications of Daily Satellite Data Planet in Ag Planet

Gates Close

Schedule subject to change, visit AgSmartOld.ca/schedule

Schedule subject to change

Schedule subject to change, visit AgSmartOld.ca/schedule

Schedule subject to change 25


AGSMART | SPEAKER SCHEDULE

Day 1 - August 9 Educational Sessions Day 2 - August 10 Educational Sessions Time

Tent 1

8:30 a.m. Gates Open Tent 1

Time

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 8:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Tent 2

Tent 3

Tent 4

Tent 5

Tent 2

Tent 3

Tent 4

Tent 5

Exhibits Open Gates Open Exhibits, Networking & Coffee Exhibits Open

OCRAE (Olds College Freely Available Exhibits, Networking & Coffee Remote Ag EcoSystem) Weather Forecasting Resources useful to 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. Ravneet New Ways to do Old Autonomous Ag Singh, support of Agricultural Business Return on Investment Olds College decision makers Steve Liebel, AgExpert

Olds Proctor College Continuing Brian Education

10:15 a.m. - 11 a.m. Exhibits & Travel to Next Session

Managing Interest Rate Risk on your Current or Future Implicationsinofa Borrowings different weaning Volatile Interest Rate methods on calf Environment performance, health & welfare Quinn Durrant, RBC Capital Markets Désirée Gellatly, Olds College

Roles of Companies in a Carbon Neutral Reality Transforming Ag Through PurposePanel Discussion driven Partnerships RDAR Panel Discussion

Succession Planning and the Future of the Farm Opportunities and challenges ATB Wealth in plant pathology Sajid Rehman, FCDC, Olds College

10:15a.m. a.m.--11 11a.m. a.m. Olds 10:30 Exhibits & Travel to Next Session College & AFSC AnnouncementTent 1 11a.m. a.m.--11:45 11:45a.m. a.m. Hail TheDamage JD Op Center 11 Advantage in Barley Classification using Drone Imagery Brent Nicol, George & Bob Brandt Gaeke Agriculture Hoffos, Olds College

Building Resiliency HyperLayer concept: Together next generation of predictive analytics in Megz Reynolds, agriculture Do More Ag Presented by Alex AFSCMelnitchouck, Dr. Olds College

Does VRThow fertilizer Exploring data provide a Return on and technology can Investment? drive better production outcomes, animal Hermanand Simons, health traceability Olds College Dr. Natasha Kutryk, TELUS Agriculture

11:45a.m. a.m.--1:15 1:15p.m. p.m. Lunch, Lunch, Networking Networking && Exhibits Exhibits 11:45 1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Breeding Olds College - Alumni ATent 1:15 p.m. - 2 p.m. InnovationsAlumni Data Awards Ownership and Journey to in Feed and Forage Privacy Developing BETSY your 1:15 p.m. - 2 p.m. Barleys Virtual Soil Survey Diving into Digital the with AIMeeting Ranchhand from Sensors and Agriculture Pharmaceutical Danielle Dudelzak, Producer Collaboration Machine Learning Demands for the Yadeta Kabeta & Dr. Dentons Canada LLP Christina Prelaz, Canadian Livestock Jennifer Zantinge, Mokah & Geoff FelippeOlds Karp, FieldView, Bayer Crop Industry - An Alberta FCDC, College Shmigelsky, Science Initiative Olds College OneCup AI

2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Exhibits & Travel to Next Session 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. New Ways to do Old Business 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Exhibits & Travel Steve Liebel, 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. AgExpert Back to the Future Precision Ag

Utilizing Nutritional Strategies to Improve to the Next BottomSession Line Dentons 2022 AgTech Darrell Hickman, Pitch Nutrition Competition Trouw

Terry Aberhart, Aberhart Ag Solutions

3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Networking & Exhibits 4:15 p.m. - 5 p.m. Autonomous Ag - What Getting Started with is it? Precision Agronomy 3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Networking & Exhibits Olds College Continuing Heather Clair, 4:15 p.m. - 5 p.m. Education What is IoT and what Using Artificially Precision AI does it mean to my Intelligent Drones for farm? Precision Spraying 5 p.m. Gates Close Jeff Poppel, Daniel McCann, TELUS Business Solutions Precision AI Agriculture

Dr. Merle Olson, Alberta Veterinary Using Data toLtd. Optimize Laboratories Farm Profitability

The value of fencing data for Virtual cattle livestock industry -the A novel approach for & how to get started grazing management PanelDiscussion Discussion Panel

Transitioning the Traditional Farm with Harvest Innovation Technology & Data & How to Apply it to the FarmDiscussion Panel Panel Discussion

Discussion about Adaption of Autonomy to Broad Acre Farming

Demand-Led Variety Triticale Production Development and Utilization at in the Olds College Malting Western Canada Barley Breeding Program Mazen Aljarrah, FCDC, Olds College Dr. Flavio Capettini, FCDC, Olds College

Putting Data Layers To Work ATB & SVG Ventures | THRIVE Lara de Moissac, SWAT Maps Panel Discussion

Performance of Optical Spot Spraying Technologies in Conventional, Dryland The OC Experience: Farming in Western Using Satellite Imagery Canada to Develop In-Crop VR Prescriptions Shabeg Briar, Olds College Daniel Stefner, Olds College

Shea Ferster & Colin The use of 3D infrared Panel Where does Canada Wenngatz, Discussion cameras stand in relation to the MNP LLP. as tools for Precision Beef ranches world with Ag Tech? and feedlots Panel Discussion Dr. Graham Plastow & Dr. Al Schaefer, Alpha Phenomics Moonshots: Incorporated Leveraging Herd Improvement accelerators to grow by Data Informed your business, fast! Decision Making

Soil Moisture and Temperature Probes: The OC Experience

A Journey prAGmatic Production John Cassidy,to Livestock Gentec Panel Developing SVG THRIVE BETSY your AI Ranchhand with Robert Saik, Producer Collaboration AGvisorPRO

Autonomous Daniel Stefner, Agricultural Olds College Equipment Evaluation for BroadAcre Crop Production

Mokah & Geoff Shmigelsky, OneCup AI

Sofia Bahmutsky & Roy Maki, Olds College

5 p.m. Gates Close

Schedule subject to change, visit AgSmartOld.ca/schedule

Schedule subject to change

Schedule subject to change, visit AgSmartOld.ca/schedule 26

Schedule subject to change


Day 1 - August 9 Demos Day 2 - August 10 Demos Time

Crop Plots

Drone Demo

Field Demo

Time Crop Plots 8:30 a.m. Gates Open

Drone Demo

Field Demo

SPEAKER SCHEDULE | AGSMART

Livestock Demo Livestock Demo

Video Demo Tent Video Demo Tent

8:30 a.m.8:30 - 5 p.m. Open a.m. Exhibits Gates Open 8:308:30 a.m.a.m. - 9:30 Networking & Coffee - 5a.m. p.m. Exhibits, Exhibits Open 10 a.m. - 10:30 of FCDC's Drone&Spraying Use Viewing FAE Equipment Demo Drones for Livestock 8:30 a.m. - 9:30a.m. a.m. Showcase Exhibits, Networking Plenary in Educational Tents Newest Varieties Cases In Agriculture FAE Canada Ltd. Landview Dronesheifer 9:30 a.m. - 10:15 a.m. The Next Generation of MAPIT Drone FAEWestern Equipment Demo Replacement FCDC, Strongfield WheatOlds College Demonstration selection using Environemental FAE Western Canada Ltd. genomic tools Alberta Wheat MAPIT Livestock Gentec

We don’t mean to shock you, but this could savemean your to life! We don’t shock you, but this FortisAlberta could save your life! FortisAlberta

10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. Exhibits & Travel to Next Session 10:15 a.m. - 11 a.m. Exhibits & Travel to Next Session 11 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. EnVoy, a highly 11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. The Next Generation of concentrated Wheat biostimulant for broad acre & row crops Alberta Wheat Acadian Plant Health

Drones/UAV’s for Field Your First Drone Flight Scouting

Student Driven SWAT MAPS Demo Autonomous Tractor

Landview Drones Ag Business & Crop Inc.

Croptimistic Olds CollegeTechnology Inc.

Drones for Livestock Replacement heifer selection using Landview Drones genomic tools

Livestock Gentec

Swarm Robots in BETSY - Computer Agriculture Vision at the Farm Olds College OneCup AI

11:45 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. Lunch, Networking & Exhibits 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch, Networking & Exhibits

1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. WEED-IT Precision Technology 1:15 p.m. - 2 p.m. Spraying Showcase of FCDC's Demo Newest Varieties Croplands FCDC, OldsEquipment College

MAPIT Drone Demonstration Your First Drone Flight MAPIT Landview Drones

Planning, Field mapping, Guardian Routing Sprayer and launching an Autonomous field Rocky Mountain mission Equipment Olds College

1:30 p.m. - 2 p.m.

Flokk

Swarm Robots in Agriculture BETSY - Computer Vision at the Farm Olds College OneCup AI

Exhibits & Travel to Next Session

2 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. EnVoy, a highly 2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. concentrated Exhibits & Travel biostimulant for broad & row crops 2:45 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. acre Alliance Seed – Strong. Vigorous. Dependable Acadian Plant Health Alliance Seed 2:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

TMR Feed Mixology Herd Management and Olds College Where it Traceability Belongs. At the Herd.

Drones/UAV’s for Field Scouting to Next Session

Student Driven Autonomous Tractor

Ag Business & Crop Inc. Swarm Spraying Drones

Olds CollegeField Planning, mapping, Routing and launching an Autonomous field mission

Landview & Ag Business & Crop Inc.

Networking & Exhibits

3:30 p.m. - 4 p.m. Alliance Seed – Strong. Swarm Spraying Dependable Drones 3:30 p.m. - 4:15 p.m. Vigorous. Networking & Exhibits Seed 4:15 p.m. - 5 p.m. Alliance WEED-IT Precision Spraying Technology Demo 5 p.m.

Gates CroplandsClose Equipment

5 p.m.

Gates Close

Landview & Ag Business Drone Spraying Use &Cases Crop Inc. In Agriculture Strongfield Environemental

Herd Management & Traceability Where it Belongs. At the Herd. What is Hidden Under Flokk the Hide? Windy Ridge Ultrasound & Olds College

Grain Discovery Grain Marketing Grain New Discovery Applications of Daily Satellite Data in Ag Planet

Olds College

Guardian Sprayer Rocky Mountain Equipment SWAT MAPS Demo Croptimistic Technology Inc.

What is Hidden Under the Hide? Windy RidgeMixology Ultrasound & TMR Feed Olds College Olds College

New Applications of Daily Satellite Data in Ag Grain Discovery Grain Planet Marketing Grain Discovery

Schedule subject to change, visit AgSmartOld.ca/schedule

Schedule subject to change

Schedule subject to change, visit AgSmartOld.ca/schedule

Schedule subject to change

27



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SECTION SMART FARM | TITLE | OLDS COLLEGE SMART FARM

Olds College Smart Farm Advancing Sustainability and Technology in Agriculture By Janice Tuff

Olds College is known for high-tech, hands-on agriculture education and innovative applied research that lays the foundation for solving real-world problems in farming, food and land. The Olds College Smart Ag Ecosystem is focused on accelerating the progress and innovation needed to grow Canada’s ag industry – and the Olds College Smart Farm is at the heart of it all. In the summer of 2018, Olds College launched the Olds College Smart Farm. This exciting initiative has seen the College transform into a farm of the future by incorporating the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity, while efficiently and sustainably using resources. The Smart Farm is a cutting-edge learning environment that has grown to include 3,600 acres of farmland, infrastructure, and staff who are experienced in ag tech research and development. Olds College is also leading the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network which addresses the need to improve productivity and sustainability in the agriculture industry. This network of Smart Farms is committed to sharing data and expertise to help farmers, industry and developers better understand, use and develop smart agriculture technologies. Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network members – Olds College, Discovery Farm and Lakeland College – are currently conducting research on the variability of weather stations to produce multiple data sets for analysis. 30


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View of the Pitstra Farm which makes up part of the Olds College Smart Farm.

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SMART FARM | OLDS COLLEGE SMART FARM

Felippe Hoffmann Silva Karp, PhD candidate from McGill University, analyzing data for the HyperLayer Data Concept in the Smart Ag Innovation Centre on Olds College campus.

Inc., Carbon Asset Solutions Ltd., Union Forage and AdvancedAg Inc. – with plans to involve more partners. The main research themes are improving productivity and environmental sustainability in tame and native pastures in Western Canada, and developing and validating remote carbon monitoring technologies with the potential to increase rancher access to carbon credit programs.

Floating Island Technology Olds College researchers are evaluating the economic and environmental benefits of using native wetland plants and floating island technology to remediate feedlot runoff water. This applied research project, Floating Island Technology for Livestock Water Remediation, aims to effectively improve water quality for irrigation or livestock use by removing excess nutrients, heavy metals, and other contaminants – as well as minimizing the presence of algae blooms. This means feedlot operators could access alternative, low-cost options for treating feedlot runoff water while being environmentally sustainable. This research aims to deliver specific information to inform the design and deployment of floating islands and native wetland plants for treating feedlot runoff ponds. It will also provide information about the environmental footprint of livestock production and steps the industry is making towards environmental sustainability.

Autonomous Agriculture Equipment

Pessl Metos ECO D3 weather station collecting data for the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network on the Olds College Smart Farm.

32

Olds College is conducting future-focused research on the evaluation and improvement of economic, environmental, and logistical benefits of autonomous agricultural equipment for broad acre crop production. Starting its third year of using autonomous agriculture equipment, the Olds College Smart Farm made two substantial improvements to its OMNiPOWER


Autonomous Platform: a dedicated and expanded team, and increased data capture with new electronic data collection technology called Somat-eDAQ. The team is able to run the equipment more efficiently, get more acreage coverage, and improve field efficiencies and uninterrupted hands-off operation. In the 2021 growing season, Olds College OMNiPOWER platform completed 56 missions, spread granular fertilizer on 1,895 acres, seeded 497 acres, sprayed 2,158 acres, and clocked five hours and 16 minutes as the longest hands off operation (beating the season one record of one hour and 17 minutes). This year, team members are performing Comparable Autonomous Data Collection with the Somat-eDAQ. The device – which typically rides along with OMNiPOWER and electronically collects location specific data (GPS) and equipment data (CAN bus) – is being used in conventional equipment to collect data that can be compared to OMNiPOWER for evaluating autonomous versus conventional equipment.

Data Layer Collection The HyperLayer Data Concept project involves collecting data layers with geographical coordinates across the 3,600-acre Olds College Smart Farm. For each field on the Smart Farm, there will be multiple layers of data collected – including topographical data, detailed soil nutrient, compaction and moisture mapping, yield, multispectral and hyperspectral imagery – for analyzing, developing and validating new technologies, and building nextgeneration machine learning algorithms for predictive analytics. The predictive algorithms built from the HyperLayer data will provide significant environmental benefits, including a reduction of fertilizer use by precisely estimating yield potential and amount of plant-available soil nutrients throughout the field, as well as water use efficiency. Economically, this data will help increase the competitiveness of Canadian agriculture, optimize efficiencies in field work and crop production, and stimulate the development of smart ag technologies. The Olds College Smart Farm creates a place for producers, industry partners, students and faculty to look at the opportunities and challenges facing the agriculture industry and investigate solutions to evolve agriculture practices. Visit the Olds College Smart Farm on August 9 and 10, 2022 for AgSmart — a must-see educational expo focused on data and technology across the agriculture industry. Join a Smart Farm tour during AgSmart to see how research projects are integrated into the farming operations to help producers make informed decisions about implementing technology in their own operations. As Canada’s smart agriculture college, Olds College is working to achieve its social purpose of transforming agriculture for a better world. Visit OldsCollege.ca/SmartFarm to learn more!

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SOFTWARE | FARM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Farm Management Software: What You Need to Know Exploring software programs from different angles vital to determining operational value By Lisa Kopochinski

In virtually any industry today, the need for software management is vital as people navigate this ever-changing digital world. The farming industry is no different. Just ask Terry Aberhart. As an agronomist and farmer, he says when it comes to choosing the right software program(s), farmers need to consider what is most important to them. That is, what they want managed, their end goals and how all this fits together. As CEO of Aberhart Farms, located in Langenberg, Sask. and founder of Sure Growth Technologies Inc., providing professional agronomy consulting services, he stresses that support is vital in any kind of farm management software (FMS) program. “If you don’t have good support, it’s going to be a real struggle. That’s where a lot of people can fall down. Also, some of the factors that need to be considered are who owns the data – you or the account company? You need to be clear about the fees involved,” says Aberhart. Farmers should also look at software programs from different angles and understand that no software is going to do everything automatically and solve all their problems. 38

“It’s not my expectation that everything can be done in one software. Refining your system can take up to three years to have in place. Know what the most important thing is that you want to manage. Is it inventory, crop records or fertility management.” - Terry Aberhart “It takes time, effort and learning to get value out of these things. I always look at these things in several stages, such as a three-year approach,” says Aberhart. “I set goals in what we want to achieve and then set up a structure for stage one, or Year One, and how we are going to do this. We know off the bat that it’s not going to go perfect and there will be a bit of stumbling around for the first stage.”


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SOFTWARE | FARM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

“Every successful software company today has moved to Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The issue with this model is that clients can get “locked in” to using just one system. Leaving a software system can be as painful as physically leaving a marketing, accounting or legal firm.” - Ken Greer “A DSS is used to test ‘what if’ scenarios and give users a predictive outcome for future events,” he explains. “For example, our Plant Root Simulator technology was designed around a DSS called the PRS CropCaster. This DSS delivers the results of the soil analysis relative to the crop/climate and soil parameters specific to that farmer’s situation.”

FarmersEdge specialists install weather stations and telematics devices into farm equipment to ensure easy implementation as farmers collect and manage their data.

As a grower, Aberhart actually uses a number of different programs for different tasks. While many people will focus on one program, none of them will do everything. “It’s not my expectation that everything can be done in one software,” he says. “Refining your system can take up to three years to have in place. Know what the most important thing is that you want to manage. Is it inventory, crop records or fertility management, for example?”

A solution for everyone Ken Greer, president and CEO of Western Ag Group of Companies in Saskatoon, has extensive academic and practical experience in taking computer models from the research space and migrating these to Decision Support Systems (DSS). 40

Because all these input factors can be changed – and with yield, fertilizer response and return on investment recalculated in real time – farmers can use the PRS CropCaster to optimize ROI to fertilizer for 27 different crop types with a range of wet/dry and hot/cold climate scenarios. Ag Professional Agronomy delivers the PRS CropCaster at the same price point regardless of farm size at four to six dollars per acre. This prediction can help farmers grow more profit, beyond just more yield. “The day of ‘buying software’ ended in about 2005,” Greer says. “Every successful software company today has moved to Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The issue with this model is that clients can get ‘locked in’ to using just one system. Leaving a software system can be as painful as physically leaving a marketing, accounting or legal firm.” Farmers should test the “export options” for any software system prior to signing on with any SaaS model. Kris Kinnaird is a product marketing specialist at Farmers Edge, a Winnipeg-based firm that develops data-driven solutions to help farmers run efficient operations. He stresses that growers should always place value at the forefront and ask themselves how much they can save by making more informed management decisions. They should also know if the platform they are interested in automates data collection and utilizes accurate real-time, site-specific datasets. Or, does it have to be entered manually?


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SOFTWARE | FARM MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

“Farmers can plan accordingly and measure the cost of nearly every decision on the farm. This helps them to develop sound crop and fertility plans, identify issues faster so they can take corrective actions to protect yield and make decisions that help them become more sustainable, productive and profitable.” - Kris Kinnaird At FarmersEdge, the farmer owns all their own data and their technology works with nearly any make and model of equipment. “FarmCommand simply makes it easy to put it all in one place, in a consistent format, so farmers can visualize, analyze, understand and act on it,” says Kinnaird. Saskatchewan farmer and agronomist Terry Aberhart says when it comes to FMS, a farmer should consider their priorities first – what they want to manage, their end goal and how the software pieces that together.

FarmersEdge’s platform, FarmCommand, integrates all data into one easy-access place. “Farmers can plan accordingly and measure the cost of nearly every decision on the farm,” explains Kinnaird. “This helps them to develop sound crop and fertility plans, identify issues faster so they can take corrective actions to protect yield and make decisions that help them become more sustainable, productive and profitable.” This all-in-one digital platform collects all sources of farm data into one place, including site-specific weather conditions and forecasts, equipment telematics, crop plans, historical records and high-frequency, high-resolution satellite imagery. Also providing farmers real-time tracking of field activities, the software has a suite of digital tools that address all areas of crop production. That includes easy-to read map layers that support directed scouting, predictive models for pests, disease and crop growth stages, as well as detailed weather, acreage and production reports used for crop insurance. 42

Final words of advice Aberhart wants to emphasize the importance in growers investing the time to choose the right software product. This is where working with a consultant can help. “Someone that trains you and holds you accountable or pushes you along is very key, because as farmers, we get distracted. We have other things to do,” he says. “If you want something different, you have to do something different to get there.” Kinnaird says his firm believes all data needs to be integrated and analyzed in a consistent format for it to be the most insightful. Farmers must be able to choose from various solutions that match the needs of their farms. “Our specialists visit the farm to install weather stations and telematics devices in every piece of equipment to make it easy for the farmer to collect and manage their data without the manual effort as seen with other solutions on the market,” he says. Greer stresses that farmers need to beware of any “free sign-up” offers that can lead to trailing fees or worse, a data-scrape that is used by the APP developer for resale to insurance, input, or food companies who desire these metrics. “Remember if the software is free, you are the product,” he warns.


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CLEANFARMS

Cleanfarms Cleanfarms Moving Ag Plastic Jug Recycling to Alberta Ag Retailers Over Next 3 Years Lethbridge, AB - Cleanfarms, the stewardship organization that collects used agricultural plastics for recycling, announced today it is changing its recycling drop off locations in Alberta where producers take empty 23L and smaller plastic pesticide and fertilizer containers.

“Producers like the plastic bags,” Friesen says. “They make managing empty containers simple. In provinces where we’ve been using plastic bags for a while, recycling rates have increased. Bags make it easier to manage empties so producers bring back more of them for recycling. This works quite well.”

The recycling collection system is gradually transitioning from sites at municipal transfer stations and landfill facilities to collecting empty ag jugs at Alberta agricultural retail operations.

Cleanfarms is also making it easier for high-volume generators of empty jugs such as aerial applicators, landscapers and large acreage farms to recycle more containers. Operators can arrange for on-site pickup. Operators should email crawfordc@ cleanfarms.ca for more information.

The transition to ag retailers is being phased in over three years. The first phase is starting with municipal collection sites that, even though open to receive empty containers from producers, have had little or no containers dropped off there for the past few years. Cleanfarms Executive Director Barry Friesen said there are several reasons why the change to ag retailers makes sense. “Transitioning to a retail-based collection for the jug program shifts responsibility to accept empty containers from Alberta municipalities to the ag industry, which harmonizes the collection system across Canada. In all other provinces except Alberta and Manitoba, we collect empty containers at ag retailers,” Friesen said. Manitoba will be transitioned on the same three-year schedule. Friesen noted that collecting small ag pesticide and fertilizer containers at ag retailers makes recycling the empty containers more convenient for producers. “For one thing, having ag retailers accept empty containers means we have more drop off locations with longer operating hours,” Friesen said. “For another, producers can return small and large bulk containers to a location that they already go to on a regular basis. It makes recycling easier for most growers.” Currently, producers return empty bulk containers—23L to 1000L drums and totes—to ag retailers while they take smaller empty containers to municipal collection sites for recycling. Friesen said another advantage of the revised drop off system is that when producers go to ag retailers to purchase crop input products, they can get a free large plastic bag that makes collecting, storing and transporting small empty containers more efficient. The bags hold about 45 empty containers each. 46

Friesen said he’s very grateful to Alberta municipalities for all they have done to get the container recycling program up and running and staying with it for more than 30 years. “Cleanfarms’ program in Alberta to collect and recycle empty pesticide and fertilizer jugs is the longest running recycling program for ag plastic containers in Canada. We owe our gratitude to Alberta municipalities for giving producers a convenient location to drop off empty containers. Now ag retailers in those areas will step into those big shoes. Our plan is to have every ag retailer that sells product in 23L containers accept the empty jugs from their customers to ensure producers have the same or better access to recycling. So, it should be convenient,” Friesen said. The phased in approach will see 21 local areas in Alberta including one in northern BC transition in early 2022. As noted, these municipal locations have not been extensively used in recent years. In case producers do go there, signage is prominent, along with Cleanfarms website information to redirect producers to the new, nearby collection sites. Ag retailer sites will open, some even before municipal sites close, to accept empty pesticide and fertilizer containers. At the end of December 2022, a further 58 municipal sites that typically collect low volumes of containers will close. The full transition of municipal sites to ag retailers will continue through 2023 and 2024. Communications and notifications will occur prior to each round of transitions and all information will be included on the Cleanfarms website at cleanfarms.ca/mb-abjug-transition/. Producers should ask their ag retailers when they can start returning empty jugs to those locations.


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