Canola 100 Enthusiasm Catches On

Posted in: Farming     

We have liftoff!

Some ambitious farmers from across Canada have left the starting gate in a race to see who will be the first to grow 100 bushels of dryland, spring-seeded canola on 50 continuous acres to claim the first ever Agri-Prize — one-year’s use of a fleet of John Deere equipment (4WD tractor, air seeder, sprayer, swather and combine).

This three-year ‘moonshot’ inspiration competition is designed to bring out the best in innovation and management skills to do something that has never been documented before: a verified 100 bu/ac on 50 acres.

Agri-Trend, together with partners Glacier Farm Media and John Deere, are excited about what will be learned over the next three years. Farmers from across the canola growing region in Western Canada are joined by some Ontario growers as they pursue the target.

“This has been designed as a learning event for participants,” says Matt Eves with John Deere. “The idea is that the farmer learn from their own efforts, but they will also be able to connect with fellow competitors throughout the year in some fun events.”

A great deal of activity has been planned around the Canola 100 at the Ag in Motion Outdoor Farm Show held near Saskatoon in July, including demonstration plots as well as a special tour for the competitors. “We are going to host a special event for the farmers at the Ag in Motion Show”, explains Rob O’Conner, show manager. “This will include a special tour along with a bit of a hospitality area so the farmers can get to meet one another.”

The Canola 100 has captured the imagination of the industry, including seed and fertilizer manufacturers that are working with farmers to pursue the prize.

Jarrett Chambers, President of ATP Nutrition, is very excited about Agri-Prize. “We love the concept of the Canola 100 because it accelerates the world of what’s possible. Instead of concentrating on limitations, we are looking at ways to hit the genetic potential of a crop. The Canola 100 is about pursuing one specific objective — and that’s why it will work. We can talk about scaling or refining what we do after we have done it, but until we know what is possible we will not know how hard we can push the crop. We have partnered with about a dozen farmers in pursuit of the Agri-Prize and ATP Nutrition is also involved with the Canola 100 demonstration plots at the Ag in Motion farm show.”

Annually, there will be Agri-Prize updates at the Farm Forum Event, held in Calgary in December, where again contestants will be invited to join their peers to learn and have some fun.

The competition will run for three years. The yields will all be verified and all production practices will be tracked on the Agri-Data platform. And there WILL be a winner because even if the 100 bu/ac barrier is not cracked, the highest yield will walk away with the use of the John Deere fleet.

So, if you missed entering this year, keep posted because registrations for the 2017 growing season open again in September.

For more information on the contest go to www.AGRIPRIZE.com.

See you all at the Ag in Motion Show near Saskatoon in July!

About the Author
Robert Saik

Saik is the founder and CEO of Agri-Trend Inc., a Canadian agricultural coaching network that includes agronomic, grain marketing, business, technology, carbon offset and land management services. He holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Alberta, is a Professional Agrologist and Certified Agricultural Consultant.

He owned and operated a farm in northeastern Alberta, founded and subsequently sold two fertilizer companies, and is currently a partner in a Calgary marketing and design firm. Saik an active professional speaker, entertaining and educating audiences around the world on strategic business planning, technology integration and social media in agriculture.

He can be reached at rsaik@agritrend.com.


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