On November 8, growers from across Alberta and Saskatchewan gathered in Red Deer for the first annual conference on Decisive Farming. By all accounts, the event was a big success with keynote speakers providing new insights into the significant events of the last 12 months, including the increasingly important role of information on the farm, and the new technologies, research, and strategies that are helping growers make better decisions about farm management.
Some highlights of the day included a presentation by Shane Mathis (Risk Management Incorporated, INTL FC Stone), who helped us develop a better understanding of how current volatility and growth in the world agriculture markets can be managed with the right tools, knowledge, and strategic approach. Additionally, Dr. Alex Melnitchouck (Manager of Research and Development, Decisive Farming) mapped a scientific course for the future of farming in western Canada and beyond, with an emphasis on the use of field-scale experiments to develop a better understanding of new technologies and services in agriculture. This was followed by an update from Garth Donald (Manager of Agronomy, Decisive Farming) who presented the results of our latest field trials using Optimize RX, our advanced approach to variable rate applications of seed and fertilizer.
After lunch the focus shifted to a panel discussion featuring three growers who are leading the charge. In short, the panelists provided a first-hand account of their current farm practices and operational logistics, which was followed by details about the tools, technologies, and services they use to achieve success in their farm business. Each speaker shared real examples of the challenges and concerns facing farms of today and the future, as well as how their farm business achieved success through better decision-making in the areas of agronomy, crop marketing and finance, operational logistics, and information management.
Following the presentations, conference-goers had a chance to talk with the presenters and participate in break-out sessions based on the topics of discussion. It was an excellent opportunity for everyone involved to peer-network and get more information what the top growers are doing to increase the profitability of their farm business.
We would like to thank those who attended, as well as the presenters and panelists who shared their wealth of knowledge. We look forward to continuing the dialogue and setting plans for our 2012 conference!