Jake Leguee, a farmer residing in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, is among those using an app to optimize their agricultural production.
The app, developed by an agricultural technology company in Saskatchewan, allows him to see exactly how much moisture is in the soil on the family farm he operates, at any time of the season.
Jake Leguee has installed half a dozen weather stations on his property. The stations track various factors that affect crops, such as air and soil temperature, humidity levels and wind.
It really changes the way we manage our crops and it makes us more environmentally sustainable.says Jake Leguee.
Saskatchewan at the heart of emerging agricultural technology
Jake Leguee says Canadian farmers have long strived to make their operations more efficient, including through the use of data. A willingness to learn, try and adopt new technologies is essential to this task, he says.
Saskatchewan has become a hub for emerging agricultural technology, according to several industry experts.
Sean O’Connor, managing director of Emmertech, a $60 million Conexus venture capital fund, discusses Saskatchewan farmers’ track record of adopting new technologies and supporting local start-ups.
Bay Street. Elles ont leur place dans les écosystèmes agricoles, où on interagit directement avec l’industrie elle-même”,”text”:”On ne peut pas créer des entreprises de technologie agricole sur Bay Street. Elles ont leur place dans les écosystèmes agricoles, où on interagit directement avec l’industrie elle-même”}}”>You can’t build agri-tech companies on Bay Street. They have their place in agricultural ecosystems, where we interact directly with the industry itself.he says.
” Farmers are, in our view, the most innovative business owners in Canada, and they are looking for new solutions. »
Cory Willness, Founder of Croptimistic Technologya company that creates custom soil, water and topography (SWAT) maps for farmers, agrees.
In western Canada in general, there are a lot of farmers who are early innovators.
Croptimistic’s SWAT maps can help farmers determine exactly which parts of their fields need nutrients and which don’t, says Cory Willness. He estimates that this could result in around 15% more profit.
Like Croptimistic, other companies in Saskatchewan have developed technological tools to help farmers.
This is the case of the Réginoise company Precision AI, which specializes in the manufacture of drones equipped with artificial intelligence, dedicated to the selective watering of agricultural fields.
Ground Truth Aganother local company, has created technology that helps farmers analyze and record grain samples in real time to better assess crop quality.
Economic benefits for farmers
University of Saskatchewan professor Stuart Smyth says these technologies will save farmers money.
I tell my students that over the next decade the use of these digital technologies certainly has the potential to really revolutionize what farming looks like.explains the holder of the agri-food innovation research chair.
Saskatchewan has a favorable start-up ecosystem, thanks to the presence of major industry players, such as Brandt, AGT Foods and Protein Industries Canada.
Provincial economic and technology development agencies, such as Innovation Saskatchewan, prioritize agricultural technology.
One of the challenges is securing investment in this sector. It takes longer for technologies to be created and adopted, which means it takes longer for investors to see the benefits.
With files from Delaney Seiferling