Farming has been going through a lot of changes in recent years especially as the internet and handheld devices have landed on the farm and inside the tractor. Farmers are connected to the world and the markets on a daily basis they are no longer just talented crop growers they are small business owners and IT specialists. When speaking with people outside of the agricultural industry; it amazes them to learn that farming now uses GPS, satellite imagery, various sensors and the online applications on a daily basis to grow wheat and other crops. To a farmer this is hardly a surprise; farming has long been more than just knowing when to put the seed in the ground. Farmers need an understanding of how to sell and buy inputs in an increasingly volatile market. Government programs are great ways to cut costs but knowing how to utilize them fully can be difficult. The Ag industry is seen; to those not intimately connected to it, as standing still but we know it has decided to catch up and is doing it in a hurry.
Recently I ran across this info-graphic at the bottom of the page from FBC that exemplifies the changes to farming that highlights the growing complexity of the farm. Farms are getting bigger; 179% bigger, farmers are specializing in growing crops as farms with beef or pigs have decreased by 25% & 36% respectively. Farm debt has accelerated to create an ever widening gap. There is more risk involved with farming than ever and understanding how to reduce that risk involves utilizing every tool in the farmers pocket. To combat this risk technology and process advancements are balancing out the equation: crops are designed to give bigger yields, GPS is saving costs on inputs and VRT is helping to do both. Farming has become more complex than ever because it is the small efficiencies that are making money, 5% here, 10% they all add up to make a farm profitable. Learning how to take advantage of all of these efficiencies will be what allows a farm to grow and thrive.
For more information on Know-Risk Crop marketing or Optimize RX Variable Rate Technology contact Decisive Farming
The Fiscal Farmer: Canada’s Changing Agricultural Landscape — an Infographic by the team at FBC.ca