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The much anticipated FarmTech 2010 took place in Edmonton last week. Growers and tech-buffs from across the country gathered to see the latest and greatest that agriculture technology has to offer. Some of the topics touched on in the conference were various ways to increase yields such as leaf genetics to optimize photosynthesis, or the idea of a zero-till system that applies no compression on the soil and in certain cases has nearly doubled yields. On the local front, discussions took place regarding new interest within Alberta for growing lentils, the medicinal crop of rose root because of the recent rise in prices and new barley and triticale varieties coming to the province. Turning to the global markets, speakers addressed the continued trend towards pulse exports to India, an increased consumption of canola oil and talks of environmental stewardship on a global level. And then back to the fields with speed versus coverage in spraying, the benefits of soil testing and the good and bad of the insect world.

One of the latest tools in agriculture represented at the conference was variable rate technology. Garth Donald, an agronomist for DynAgraVRT had this to say regarding the technology. “Today’s growers have more pressure than ever to produce. With a growing global population, and decreasing farmable land, the necessity to produce high yields is a priority. That’s where DynAgraVRT comes in. By being able to find the best producing zones in a field and optimizing the yields by putting the proper nutrients where they are needed, growers are able to produce more on the same acres. I think this is the future of agriculture, being resourceful and making the most of the land we have.” All in all, Farm Tech 2010 has covered the latest trends, ideas and news in agriculture in our own fields and across the globe.