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Preparing for SWAC

Preparing for SWAC

The Southwest Agricultural Conference takes place Jan. 7 & 8

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

One of Ontario’s popular ag events is gearing up for its 27th year.

The Southwest Agricultural Conference (SWAC) takes place at the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus on Jan. 7 and 8, 2020.

The theme for the conference is 2020 Ag Vision, which will give farmers an opportunity to discuss the latest innovations and techniques.

The event will feature 44 sessions on many industry topics.

Jeff Cook, a grain producer from London, Ont., for example, is part of a three- farmer panel titled Real Corn Growers.

“I plan on running through what works for us on the farm,” he told “But one of the big takeaways will be the importance of having accurate data and using it to manage each farm individually on a grid-by-grid basis.”

Cook is one of many farmers who will make presentations during the two-day event.

Hearing from other growers is valuable, Cook said.

“There’s always something to learn from other farmers,” he said. “Some things might not apply to your farm, but you can always pick out little tidbits, whether it’s similar techniques or hearing about different ways of doing things. You’re not going to hear about those things unless you listen to someone who’s putting those methods into action.”

Other speakers will provide tips to help farmers get ahead.

Ed Usset, a grain marketing specialist from the University of Minnesota, is making a presentation about five mistakes of grain marketing.

“Many producers haven’t had an approach to marketing where they’re trying to figure out where the market is going and sell at the high price,” Usset told “That’s a difficult game to play and play well.”

One of the missteps some farmers make relates to pre-harvest pricing.

“There are still farmers out there very unwilling to price their grain before it’s harvested. They need to see it before they sell it. I’m encouraging farmers to stop making these mistakes,” he said.

Usset has noticed a change in how some farmers market their grain.

“We’re into year five of prices at or below the cost of production,” Usset said. “Producers are asking questions about how to get an extra 20 or 30 cents (per bushel) and not waiting for a $2 rally in corn prices.”


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