Young Farmer

Agronomy

As important as all the technology in the field is scientific capacity behind the scenes, agronomy in general and crop-genomics in particular. The region has half a dozen leading universities with agronomy departments and many more research centers. Also, unlike most academic disciplines, in this domain we see applied-science in action; scientists are keen to apply their knowledge in the fields, while producers are equally enthusiastic in embracing innovation and new farming-methods. Prairies are uniquely positioned to drive a new wave, if not a tsunami, of crop-specialization.

In many respects we saw this capacity in display in previous waves of diversification. The switch from wheat to canola was relatively easy, and driven by market forces -- an attempt to break lose from a single-desk export-monopoly. We saw agronomy in action more clearly with pulses, realizing the region’s advantages in soil and climatic conditions for growing them, as well as introducing seed-varieties for a wide range of crops from beans, peas to lentils. Producers got considerable support and guidance in this regard from both the scientific community and governments.

In this vein we must also acknowledge the support capacity governments, federal and provincial, lend to Prairie agriculture. Canada Grain Commission (CGC) is seen as a relic from a regulated era but its relevance continues to the market-driven grain-economy in upholding grade and quality standards -- classification systems coupled with testing and inspection practices. While it may still carry a grain-label, its jurisdiction extends to oilseeds, pulses and specialty crops, and remains a source of support to producers, and comfort to buyers, particularly in identity-preservation.

We are hoping that our platform will play a dual-role in this domain. First, we intend to be a bridge between scientific and producer communities -- facilitate dialogue and even specific research or experimental initiatives where we see market potential for specialty-crops. Second, by posting articles and profiles, we hope to instil buyer-confidence in our quality and grade standards, that sales we facilitate are indeed of specialty-crops, not diverted from bulk-pools -- grown and tested to regulated classification-systems, handled and shipped with identity-preservation assurance.

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Research Forum

As with equipment-manufacturers and solution-providers, our goal is to become a "bridge" between producer and research communities.  To this end, we will be reaching out to agronomy departments, research-centers as well as government agencies.

We have no delusions of making any meaningful contributions to ongoing research-debates, other than provide visibility into these collaborative efforts to promote the Prairies in export markets as the world's most advanced agricultural region.

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Research Library

As we establish relationships in the research community, we might pursue one other track that could complement our promotional efforts -- publish abstracts on research papers or reports that lend credibility to our trade-facilitation efforts.

At every turn, we try to bring attention to the diversification and specialization potential of Prairie agriculture.  These abstracts would provide scientific basis to our claims, that the potential we are conveying is real, not just a hallow sales-pitch.