Farmers Look to a “Bright Future” at the Northern Ag Expo
Thousands of farmers and Ag experts from across the Midwest gathered for the Northern Ag Expo at the Fargodome.
The tires and treads are not yet caked in mud here at the Northern Ag Expo.
I spoke with many farmers and Ag technology producers and they all say the future of farming in the Valley looks bright.
The year 2016 could end up being one of North Dakota’s best years for farmers.
The Ag Department predicts soybean crops to be up 33% and state corn more than doubling last year’s harvest.
“Outstanding yield,” declared Gary Knutson, who is the Executive Director of the ND Agriculture Association. “These 200 bushel corn crops don’t happen by accident and with timely rain, there’s some other stuff involved.”
“The beautiful thing about the future where we’re going,” explained Troy McKown, “is technology has only just started. The sensing capability that’s coming, the satellite technology, the data management that’s coming is going to be unbelievable in the next couple of years.”
McKown is Precision Planting’s Region Manager.
He says farming is becoming a lot more automated.
“I’m not talking tractors driving themselves yet. I mean we’re a ways away from that,” McKown said.
He says new automated data reports will allow farmers to make better educated guesses, leading to higher yields at lower costs.
And for longtime visitors and farmers, it’s a nice way to review their season.
“It’s good to come up this time of the year, see what’s new while the crops and stuff are still fresh on your mind,” said Alan Bryce, a farmer from Glenwood MN.
But our area’s Ag Industry does not come without its challenges.
“Let’s just compare us and Canada. They’re probably 80 cents on the dollar, so they’ve got a discount that they can offer to the buyers here and the processors that we can’t,” Knutson said.
The value of the U.S. dollar is one big obstacle that can harm the industry.
But on the bright side, Knutson says our transportation competition with the oil industry is well balanced.
If you missed it, don’t worry.
There’s still a chance to stay up to date on agriculture technology as the event continues tomorrow right here in the Fargodome.