The upcoming two-day AgSmart – Growing Profits with Data event at Olds College will include presentations from dozens of speakers expert in agriculture-related issues, developments and technologies.
Scheduled for Aug. 13-14, AgSmart will include educational workshops, lectures, equipment demonstrations and much more.
Olds College is co-producing the event with Agri-Trade Equipment Expo, with about 5,000 guests expected to attend. Details of the speakers’ planned presentations were outlined by organizers and quoted below.
There are two keynote speakers scheduled for AgSmart.
Robert D. Saik, CEO of Dot Farm Solutions will give the keynote address on Aug. 13.
“Saik takes us on a journey of agricultural advancement that sees us at the dawn of Agriculture 5.0, a convergence of technologies that will reshape the future of food production. Agriculture 5.0 is about breaking down silos and interdisciplinary barriers to formulate a new type of agriculture that holds promise of long-term sustainable food for all.
“The convergence is about how many technologies are coming together to impact the farm in amazing ways at a speed never experienced before in our sector.”
Saik will release his second book, titled Food 5.0: How We Feed the Future during AgSmart.
Greg Johnson, also known as the Tornado Hunter, will present a keynote address on Aug. 14. He is the first person to ever stream a tornado live in Canada.
“What drives a seemingly sane individual to chase a tornado for the opportunity of a perfect photo? Building a legacy for your family, your business and your community requires hard work, vision and sacrifice.
“However, none of it would be possible if you aren’t around to enjoy it. Every news reporter knows that getting the story is important, but getting back to tell that story is more important. Greg uses the metaphor of storm chasing to relate the messages that situational awareness, preparation and implementation are the real keys to success.”
There are dozens of other speakers scheduled to make presentations at AgSmart, including the following:
• Joy Agnew, director of applied research at Olds College, will present a talk called Data and Technology for Grain Storage.
“Storing grain on-farm offers producers an opportunity to optimize logistics during harvest and take advantage of market fluctuations to increase overall revenue. However, storing grain on-farm results in costs and risks if the grain is not conditioned properly. Moisture and temperature dynamics in a grain bin are extremely complex and can be difficult to manage.
“Data and technology can help producers make better management decisions and minimize the risk of spoilage. This presentation will review some of these grain storage monitoring technologies along with their pros and cons so producers can better understand their application and limitations.”
• John Church, associate professor in Natural Resource Science at Thompson Rivers University will present two talks titled Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to Manage Livestock from Above.
“Modern UAVs can be rapidly deployed to provide surveillance of animals in difficult-impassible terrain, or monitoring animals remotely in a captive setting like feedlots. Equipped with new zoom cameras or thermal imagery, the UAVs have the potential to locate animals more easily and assess what course of action, if any, is necessary.”
• Andrea Hanson is a livestock extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. She will present a talk called I’ve Been Told I Should Feed Test – Now What?
“In this session you will learn how to test feed to ensure more accurate results. More importantly, you will learn how to interpret those results and put them into use so they aren’t just filed. Finally, you will be introduced to tools that will help you manage the feeds you have to work with or are considering purchasing.”
• Al Kemmere is a Mountain View County councillor and a member of the Agricultural Recycling Plastics Group (APRG). He will speak about the program.
“The APRG will provide an update on its pilot project to recycle grain bags and twine and how producers can participate. Along with collection, the pilot includes market research for all types of agricultural plastics, a waste characterization study to determine plastic volumes and materials, surveys to producers, and education about the program. It is anticipated that the pilot will start in the fall of 2019.”
APRG member Tammy Schwass will also speak during AgSmart.
• Grant Lastiwka is a forage extension specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. His talk is titled Pasture and Hayland Viagra.
“Plants make soil. How much soil do you want to make? The ability for plants to make soil at a higher rate is through them being the best solar collector possible from having a high green leaf area index, that we can manage to be green for much longer of a growing season with healthier soil.”
• Lisa Pawlick is a Canadian Cattle Identification Agency field specialist. Her talk is titled Preparing for the Future – What You Will Need to Know About CLTS (the Canadian Livestock Tracking System).
“Whether a seasoned veteran using the mobile app while wrangling cattle in the back pasture, or a total newbie still trying to remember your login information, we will touch on it. This presentation will cover all things CLTS, from basics such as assessing your CLTS information and submitting required data to producer responsibilities when reporting information.”
• Alicja Ziemienowicz is a research Biologist with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Her talk is titled Nitrogen fixation in crops as an alternative to nitrogen fertilizers.
“Nitrogen availability in soil limits crop growth and agricultural productivity and has long been overcome through application of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. Atmospheric nitrogen is more abundant and thus a richer source of nitrogen but is not directly available to plants. Solving the nitrogen challenge will help to increase crop yield on nitrogen deficient soils and reduce production costs.”
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