One of the oldest traditions in the summer time is for farmers to attend local field days that are hosted by ag-input retailers or government researchers. Depending on where you are in the country you have probably attended many different ones at times for a number of reasons. Many people attend to see the latest in seed or treatment technology, crop protection products, fertilizer strategies and or yield data. For example, the above picture shows some winter grazing trials at the Lacombe Field Day last year.
I chatted with Pat Hemminger, Wholesale Seed Manager, Canadian Production Services, about the value of field days for farmers. Pat also discusses the details of the CPS Crop and Soil Expo next week. If you cannot see the below video, Click Here
It has been a larger social trend that people have less time to commit to these types of events. This is actually one of the reasons that this site has been very successful with the Canola School and Wheat School. These digital schools allow growers to attend a virtual plot tour on their own time and within the confines of their own home.
Recently ag-input retailers have developed “super” field plots that try to create an atmosphere of innovation and learning for the grower. These events try to increase the attendance by increasing the amounts of speakers and topics for the farmers to be interested in. As discussed in the above interview, CPS has a created a Seed & Soil Expo which is hosted over two days with over twenty speakers.
With the adversity that we have faced in the west this year I have heard many farmers say that the last thing they want to do is go see plots. It is my opinion that it is critical for farmers to keep up on technologies and practices for their farm business. Poor crop conditions and challenges do not warrant apathy. In fact, I would think that this year would entice people to have more questions and comments on how to deal with some of the disease or pest issues. In Ontario farmers have great crops but there is still the need to start thinking about next years planting plans and making sure they are informed.
The reality is that whether you attend actual field days or learn from RealAgriculture.com Features, the critical point is that farmers need to continue to learn their craft. Continuous learning is required in many different industries and farming is no different.