5 takeaways from CropSphere and Crop Production Show 2019

When the RealAgriculture team attends major events, such as Crop Week in Saskatoon, we like to get together and compare some notes on the event. Sometimes we do a wrap up, and sometimes we make lists, because who doesn’t like a good list? This week Shaun, Jessika, and Dale were all in Saskatoon to take in both CropSphere and the Crop Production Show .

Here are five takeaways from the events this week:

  1. Seed value creations discussions have heated, with a lot of noise, but may be back on the rails. At the beginning of the week, the entire discussion around seed value creation was running off the rails and emotions were running high. There was a buzz throughout the city that the consultations held this week would continue the spiral towards some possible harsh next step decisions for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Over eight hundred people showed up at TCU Place Wednesday to hear first-hand what the proposed plan was, and farmers paid close attention on what was presented. The train might not be back on the rails quite yet but it didn’t crash either. (Hear more about that with this interview with Laura Reiter)
  2. With all the big agri-business mergers still very fresh, it’s still confusing who is working for whom. When you work for a company in the industry you pay pretty close attention to who all the players are. As a  farmer, you have a lot more to worry about than who is called what this week. Some of the changes have been pretty complex, too. Dow and Dupont came together, then created new divisions, with new names and brands. For many farmers there are too many names to keep straight, and they are just waiting for the dust to settle. Most farmers are more concerned that they can still get the product they want from their local ag retail.
  3. There is room for two shows and a host of reunions and AGMs during Crop week. Crop Week is a big week in Saskatoon. All of the AGMs for the development commission happen then. The Saskatchewan Soil Conservation Association has its general meeting, and there were 10-year reunions for College of Agriculture grads, the speaker line up downtown at CropSphere, and the Western Canadian Crop Production Show Prairieland Park. While there me be a time all these events happen in one spot, for now, there are several different audiences and they can be accommodated in different places without anyone suffering.
  4. Canadian farmers are a little worried, but much more positive than American farmers, thanks to a 75 cent dollar and trade with China. Farmers at the shows do not have the same jump in their step they had a few years ago. Prices have not collapsed completely, and China is still buying our products. If you take yellow peas, as an example, China has absorbed much of the supply that India would usually have taken – lentils, not so much. As well, China is still buying wheat from Canada and not a single bushel from the U.S. farmers, however, things could go from bad to worse in a hurry if there is one misstep in the ongoing diplomatic dispute.
  5. You can tell technology is forever evolving — it’s up to the producers whether they want to accept it or not. As you go from booth to booth a lot of companies aren’t necessarily re-inventing the wheel, rather they’re shining it up with new technology. Sure, the seeder or sprayer might look the same as they always have, but it’s about what’s inside that counts right? It’ll be interesting to see in the years to come how all of this “new and improved” tech will roll out and how the older generation of farmers will be able to adapt to it. At one booth, we overheard an older gentleman complain there was “too many gadgets and gizmos” and wasn’t wanting to learn as “he’s always done it this way,” but not to far away, in another booth, a younger couple with a new baby couldn’t be more thrilled for the precision technology the company had to offer.

If you had some takeaways let us hear them.  You can comment below, or connect with us on social media channels, too!

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