LANGHAM, Sask. — After 9,308 people walked through the Ag in Motion gates opening day, a successful return to action Wednesday came with a strong surge of new technologies that farmers haven’t been able to see up-close the last three years.
Before Blue Rodeo closed the day with its performance in TCU place, hands-on experiences and demonstrations between innovators and farmers took place throughout the second day.
Ag-Tech Innovations were pitched by companies in the knowledge tent, and Ag in Motion Innovations Program winners demonstrated their products.
The Innovations Programs had five winners.
ATP nutrition won the agronomics award, DTN won for business solutions, Precision AI won for environmental sustainability, Sky-Ag Tech and XAG Co Ltd. won for equipment and FarmSimple Solutions Ltd won for livestock innovation.
“(Each award) honours pioneering technologies that have the potential to positively impact and advance the agriculture industry,” said Ag in Motion in a press release.
For ATP Nutrition president Jarrett Chambers, everything has come full circle.
“We were a part of the original group on this site,” said Chambers.
“We were part of the group that soil sampled the site for Ag in Motion with traditional soil testing, which is the ironic thing.”
It’s ironic because ATP’s agronomic award-winning product, NutriScan 2.0, is revolutionizing and simplifying the way soil testing is completed.
“It’s a handheld NIR (near infrared) scanner that measures all the macro and micro-nutrients and soil characteristic in the soil in under five minutes,” said Chambers.
The company says its goal is to make soil sampling accessible for everyone. Only one-in-three fields are sampled for nitrogen every year, and only one-in-six sampled for all nutrients, according to Chambers.
Making soil sampling fast, cheap and easy will help farmers to make calculated decisions on fertilizer purchases.
ATP set up the product in a display booth along with crop plots to demonstrate the power behind correct fertilizer use.
The other award winners had booths in place as well, along with all finalists and participants.
While the Innovations Program was great for bringing new and exciting technology to AIM, many other innovations outside the program were showing off the strides they have made in the past three years.
Raven Industries displayed the progress made to its autonomous farm solutions by demonstrating its OmniPower technology.
“It’s hugely important … especially after a couple years of not being able to do trade shows,” said Chris Morson, a sales specialist with Raven.
“Customers pretty quickly have a lot of questions about how things are going, especially when we had such a strong presence for so many years.”
Morson said the ag-tech industry is evolving so rapidly it doesn’t take long to “lose touch” with what’s out there.
“It’s nicer than it used to be when I started my career, being able to keep up with things online,” he said.
“But nothing beats being able to see it in person, watch it move and actually demo it.”
The growth Morson’s seen in the AIM show over the years has shown him the need for it.
“It’s just obvious this is what farmers want … or this whole site wouldn’t be here looking like this. It’s an incredibly powerful tool,” he said.
One of the other demonstrations getting a lot of viewership was Axiom’s drones. They are used to monitor soil chemistry, characteristics, organic carbon, carbon sequestration, above ground biomass and physical crop characteristics and recovery.
On a less technological note, Jared Epp of the Saskatchewan Stock Dog Association brought his two Border Collies to the Cattle Pen to demonstrate how effective they can be in herding livestock and how simple they can be to manage.
Gathering a large crowd, as his demonstration was only done Wednesday, Epp had the dogs listen to his every command as they moved the sheep easily around the pen.
“The instinct we’re utilizing is not a herding instinct, it’s a hunting instinct,” said Epp. “We’re just applying it to herd.”
Epp said they use the dogs’ natural need for leadership to look at the owner as an authority figure that they trust.
“When they accept leadership, they’re just thrilled to take a suggestion from their leader.”
Epp said there’s nothing like being able to show the dogs off to the crowd and have the public witness first-hand how he can make them move the herd in any direction with a quick whistle or voice command.
“It’s wonderful to be back,” he said. “There’s nothing like live interaction with people and their response to the things their seeing right in front of them.”
Ag in Motion’s three-day event comes to a close today.