Plant­ing seeds of in­no­va­tion

The Chatham Daily News - - NEWS - HEATHER RIVERS POST­MEDIA NEWS

WOOD­STOCK — The lat­est in in­no­va­tion and technology is on dis­play for for­ward-think­ing farm­ers at Canada’s Out­door Farm Show.

A demon­stra­tion Tues­day of the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of Cli­mate Field­view de­tailed how farm­ers can col­lect and an­a­lyze data dur­ing plant­ing and grow­ing sea­sons, as well as dur­ing the har­vest, to max­i­mize yields.

“This is the most cut­ting-edge dig­i­tal agri­cul­tural plat­form on the mar­ket,” said Denise Hock­a­day of Cli­mate Cor­po­ra­tion that pro­duces the technology. “No one else is do­ing what we are do­ing.”

Launched in Canada in Jan­uary, the sys­tem in­cludes mon­i­tors and sen­sors that col­lect in­for­ma­tion about what’s hap­pen­ing in a farmer’s field al­low­ing them to be “more pro­duc­tive and sus­tain­able.”

Equipped with a GPS, the new built-in technology tal­lies the num­ber of bushels har­vested in a cer­tain area, the to­tal har­vested and crop mois­ture lev­els.

The in­for­ma­tion is re­trieved so farm­ers can see it on dig­i­tal maps and max­i­mize re­turns.

“The big­gest thing is that not ev­ery area of the field is the same,” Hock­a­day said. “What you want to do is un­der­stand how one part of the field is per­form­ing and you can make dif­fer­ent de­ci­sions about how to care for your fields.”

Thou­sands of farm­ers, agri­cul­tural work­ers and ven­dors are ex­pected this week at Canada’s Out­door Farm Show.

The pop­u­lar agri­cul­tural show is ex­pected to draw 40,000 peo­ple to a sprawl­ing site north of Wood­stock that in­cludes more than 750 ex­hibits, field demon­stra­tions and 2.4 hectares of crops.

“We come for the ex­po­sure be­cause the show draws peo­ple from all over Canada,” said Jeff Gu­las, vice-pres­i­dent of op­er­a­tions at Mount El­gin-based Green Lea Ag Cen­tre. “It’s a great way to in­tro­duce your­self or re­con­nect with clients.”

Husq­varna is in­tro­duc­ing its bat­tery-op­er­ated ro­botic mower or Au­to­mower, the only one of its kind in North Amer­ica.

Com­pletely weath­er­proof, the Au­to­mower has zero emis­sions, and the noise level is about the same as a com­puter printer.

Prices range from $2,100 to $3,999.

MIKE HENSEN/POST­MEDIA NEWS

Cam Lind­ner, 4, of Gads Hill, takes the wheel of a CASE com­bine worth about $500,000 at Canada’s Out­door Farm Show in Wood­stock on Tues­day. More than 40,000 visi­tors are ex­pected to check out about $3 bil­lion in farm equip­ment on dis­play as the show con­tin­ues through Thurs­day.

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