Every year, we set aside a week to think about agriculture. In the last couple of years, I talked about what agriculture means to our communities. We have jobs and income that are in our community that are a direct result of agriculture. We have a lifestyle that can be rated second to none in our communities and agriculture is a big part of this. We can be proud of the quality and the amount of food that we produce in our community. What we have not done is tell the world about how good our industry actually is. In the last ten years, we have seen major improvements in crop production in our area. It used to be that we were targeting a 30 bushel canola crop and felt that a 40 bushel an acre crop was a great year. We now are targeting 50 bushels per acre yields in our fields and have seen fields that have yielded over 70 bushels of canola per acre. These improvements have been the result of better plant genetics, herbicide tolerance and fertility. We have seen the wheat yields go from 40 bushels an acre to 70 plus bushels per acre in the last ten years. The increased production is something that we should all be proud of. Talking about the increased levels of production in the agriculture community is essential. People have to understand the importance of the increased production in our fields to be willing to make the investment required to support these continued improvements. Understanding of this potential comes from reading, travelling and talking to other people in the business. We have a group of people in our area that are involved with various provincial and national groups that have committed extensive time and dollars to furthering the industry. Spend some time talking to these people and encourage them in any way that you can. Travel to new places and find out how other people do things. Bring new ideas home to try on your operation and tell others what you have seen. New ideas are important to get our industry moving. It is important that the agriculture industry receives support on the research side of things. When we look at the improvements that we have seen in crop production, research has been a major aspect of bringing this new technology to the field. Government, private industry and producers have all worked together to make this happen. If you’re involved in the agricultural industry, stop and take time to tell people about the improvements that we have seen. Tell people that as an industry, we can produce quality food at a reasonable price with the aid of technology. We need continued support of our industry to make this happen. Encourage more research and apply it in your fields when you have the opportunity. This is the way that we will be able to grow more bushels and feed the world.
By Dave Cubbon, P Ag