Canola in Bloom

Did you know?

Canola is the world's only "Made in Canada" crop. It was developed by researchers from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the University of Manitoba in the 1970s, using traditional plant breeding techniques.

The 3 primary uses for canola are:

  1. Vegetable oil - 44% of the seed is oil, which is double the content of soybeans

  2. High protein meal - the remaining 56% of the seed can be used as feed for cattle, poultry, swine and fish. Productivity increases in milk production can be up to 1 litre per day.

  3. Biofuel feedstock - a newer use for canola, the cold weather performance makes canola a new choice for biodiesel.

Drone scouting of the canola field and in field scouting using a digital scouting app.

In addition to the agronomic practices each farmer is using to increase productivity - we are leveraging some additional data collection mechanisms to track those practices and the impact at a much more specific level than in previous years.

We look forward to sharing the results - and the multiple ways we are trying to capture and visualize the impact.

AI in a Day: Camp Stories

The testimonials of our campers and their parents speak louder than our own words. Here are some camp stories from AI in a Day.

“…my favorite part was the image recognition and that I could tell my parents how old they looked”

“…I liked making the chatbot and being able to use the computer microphone and have her talk back to me”

“…I made somebody speak German! I liked how Markus sounded, but when it was English I liked Justin’s voice the best”

“…he told me he had fun and would like to try it again another time.

“I’m excited to use the translation with him. I am trying to re-learn my first language with him in French immersion and this tip alone will be invaluable to us.”

“Could I come back again tomorrow?”

If you would like to register for an upcoming camp, click here.

Ag PhD Field Day + AI in a Day Camp

Farm Femmes will be presenting at Ag PhD Field Day, July 25th at 12:00 about 5 technology trends in agriculture. We will be covering several platforms that have helped other farms in digital transformations and how to leverage the next generation farmers in your operation.

On July 26th and July 27th, we will be hosting AI in a Day camps for youth aged 8-16. These camps are focused on providing the digital skills necessary for 1) farms of the future, 2) generation to generation transformation to digital farming and 3) income diversity in a field that enables programmers to work remotely from their own operation.

No previous programming or computer knowledge is required to be successful. Those who attend will leave the day knowing how to build 3 key Artificial Intelligence models using Amazon Web Services (AWS), and will have access to AWS for 1 year for free.

Camps will be hosted in Sioux Falls, SD at the Dakotah Lodge. Register for camp here.

Ag and Jerry Maguire?

Grads (and their parents and grandparents), earlier this week we gave you some ideas for the what and where of post graduation options in agriculture. Today, we want to talk about the WHY?

WHY AG?

Ag is big business - so, as Jerry Maguire shouted back in 1996, “Show me the money!” (language warning)

In actuality, there is a great possibility that you will not make pro-athlete type money in agriculture.

Most of the people who work in agriculture will tell you that they do it to honor family legacy, to work for something greater than themselves or to feed people. The WHY is feeling proud of contributing to something more. Something lasting. Something important for all of humanity.

So, whether you play a role as a primary producer or as a supporting function in an ag-adjacent industry, being part of the global food system is important work. It is hard to measure the job satisfaction of being able to say that you help to feed the world. #zerohunger

Grads - we need you!

Graduation season is a long one - especially in Canada!  University grads started their celebrations in early May and our local high school graduation occurred yesterday. Congrats to all of the graduates on their hard work!

If you are a recent grad, no doubt you have been asked about your future plans a million times!  If you are still wondering about how to answer those questions this message is for you…consider ag.

Agriculture is a very diverse field that needs a diverse set of skills to continue to advance practice, technologies and equipment.  The links below are shared so that you get a sense of HOW MANY ways there are to further your education and contribute to feeding the world.  If you are interested in Machine Systems Automation Engineering, Robotics, Aeronautics, Food Safety, Animal Health or Meteorology agriculture needs YOU.

25 Best Colleges for Precision Agriculture

University

South Dakota State University - the first B.S. Precision Agriculture offered in the United States

University of Minnesota - Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering (8 areas of research focus including, Environmental Management and Sustainable Systems, Food and Biotechnology and Bioprocessing)

University of Manitoba - Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (7 departments including Animal Science, Plant Science, Food Science and Agribusiness)

Community College

Lakeland College (9 programs including four types of Animal Science Technology)

Assiniboine Community College (8 programs including Agribusiness, Heavy Duty Equipment Technician, Manure Management Planner and Geographic Information Systems)

Crop tour

The crop tour is a staple in every grain farming family. You may have a different name for it, but you definitely drive around scouting crops - your own and your neighbors’! :-)

Find @farmfemmes on Instagram to take a fun Friday quiz and see which crops you can identify. Or check out the photos below to see how our crops are looking in Southern Manitoba. (Week of June 17-21)


Irrigation and Drain Tile 101

You can never have too much of a good thing… unless you are talking about water.  Plants like to grow in a mixture of air, water and soil. If water makes up about 25% of the mix, then plants are happy, but plants become stressed as water levels rise above or fall below this threshold.

Farmers can use irrigation and drain tile to work with Mother Nature to provide a good growing environment.

Watch this quick video from AgPhD to get an overview of how tile drain works - for farmers and the environment.

Irrigation

  • Used to introduce water to the crops/soil

  • Can be used to fertilize crops (fertigate)

  • Can be above ground or below ground (subsurface)

  • Uses technology to design the most efficient coverage configuration

  • Can use smarter irrigation technology to work with Mother Nature to provide just the right amount of moisture, at the exact right times, for each crop type

Drain Tile

  • Used to remove excess water from the soil, to keep the water level below the level of the tile (generally a minimum of 3 feet below the surface)

  • Uses technology to design the most efficient depth, pattern and outlet locations

Water

Rainfall.PNG

We just got a much needed rain!  Our crops and pastures were suffering from lack of moisture.  Wind storms were blowing dry soil and cutting off plants, while cattle ranchers were making hard choices about selling their herds.

But we also know that for many farms in the USA, there is far too much water.  Farms are saturated and many acres have not been planted. Even those acres where farmers have been able to “mud in” the crop, the plants are stressed by cold and saturated soil.

IrrigationWell_Drillingtruck.jpg

So water affects us all in different ways, and its impact cannot be understated.  On our farm we have been investigating both irrigation and tile drainage options to help with water management.  The initial investment for either type of water management is not small. Each requires a number of preliminary paperwork and regulatory steps, as well as boots on the ground surveys of the land conditions and natural water levels and flows.

Water management is a growing challenge for farmers and needs high tech solutions in order to address sustainability from an environmental and financial standpoint. Keep reading this week as we talk about the impact of water.

AI in Ag: Cow Herding Robot

On Friday’s you need a good laugh, and a few weeks ago one of our readers sent me this video as their fun example of AI in Ag and I loved it!

A robot that herds cows, just what every farmer needs to see on a Friday.

It’s a little bit of ingenuity, beefed up for use in farming (I love the swinging arms and automated voice!).

Shameless plug for AI in a Day camps - that automated voice is something coders would learn how to do!