Precision Agriculture with Variable Rate Technology


In the heart of Saskatchewan, Craig Bews and his son, Darren, uphold a legacy that has flourished since 1910 – Duthie Farms. Spanning 10,000 acres, Duthie Farms is a testament to evolution and innovation in agriculture. The shift to crops like durum, canola, and red lentils underpinned by cutting-edge technologies has marked Duthie Farms’ transition into modern, precision agriculture.

The challenge: Overlooking the variable qualities in the soil

Duthie Farms grappled with soil variability across vastly different terrains, from sandy loam to heavy clay. The challenge was optimizing nutrient application to accommodate the diverse requirements of each field and even within individual fields.

Craig and Darren’s objective was to implement a solution that could precisely address the unique needs of each crop and soil type, thereby enhancing efficiency and productivity.

The solution: Integrating a soil health strategy

Craig turned to Decisive Farming by TELUS Agriculture’s Optimize RX®, a precision agronomy solution leveraging soil sampling and variable rate technology. This innovation allowed for tailored applications of fertilizers and seeds, driven by extensive soil testing and GPS mapping.

Integration steps:


  • Comprehensive soil testing to understand field variability.
  • Introduction of Optimize RX to create site-specific application plans.
  • Training and support from local experts for effective adoption and integration.

Combat soil variability with Optimize RX, a variable rate approach.

Once you understand the variable conditions of the soil across your farm, you can greatly improve risk management. Soil is the fundamental beginning and if you don’t know what’s in the ground, you won’t know what to fertilize for.

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The results: understanding soil variability

The switch to variable rate technology has led to smarter, not necessarily greater, fertilizer use. This has resulted in increased efficiency, with precise application ensuring that every area of each field receives exactly what it needs for optimal growth.

Craig’s satisfaction with Optimize RX extends beyond the product itself to the exemplary customer service received from local representatives and agronomists who have been instrumental in the seamless implementation and ongoing success of the technology on Duthie Farms.

Looking to the future, Craig is exploring advancements in drone technology for in-crop applications. With his recent drone pilot certification, he is poised to take Duthie Farms’ operational efficiency to new heights, literally and figuratively.