From the Farm View – Calvin Wood

by | Oct 6, 2021 | Blog, Testimonials

Calvin Wood harvesting August 2021. Photo by Riley Hole.

Calvin Wood has been farming near Corning, Saskatchewan in the RM of Golden West since 1981. A second generation farmer, Calvin has “pretty much tried everything” — growing oats, peas, canola, durum as well as hard red spring wheat, and has previously grown soybeans, flax and barley. Over the years, Calvin has not been afraid to try new things, having worked on projects with Saskatchewan Agriculture and, more recently, putting in weeping tile for draining sloughs.

When something works on his farm, he sticks with it. “My feeling is if you’re not going to farm properly, there’s no sense doing it. You’re either gonna do it right, or not do it at all,”

Crop Marketing

Calvin was introduced to Decisive Farming by TELUS Agriculture after noticing some signs in the area. He reached out to learn more and was quite interested in the Know-Risk™ solution from Decisive Farming’s partners at the FCM Division of StoneX Financial Inc. for crop marketing. “I liked the idea of working on percentages for your sale, not just trying to guess and figure that was a good enough price,” says Calvin, who uses Know-Risk for advice on crop marketing and coaching on utilizing tools from StoneX Financial Inc.’s brokerage services.

“[They] actually sit down and figure it out; that you need this much money to break even and then how much money did you want to make above that.”

Calvin regularly reads the daily market reports, which highlight the current markets and what could be contributing to changes in the market. These reports save him from having to sit in front of the computer and search that information out on his own. “Every day, there’s some [reports] that come telling you how the markets are behaving that day, what they’ve heard going on in the market…suggestions like what percentage you might look to target at what price.” Calvin uses that information to help with decision-making when it comes to marketing his own crops. “They give you lots of great suggestions on what they’re thinking and it’s up to you after that.” says Calvin.

Calvin Wood harvest 2021. Photo by Riley Hole.

Inventory Management Made Easier

Part of Calvin’s crop marketing plans involve easily accessible inventory management — for that, he uses Decisive Farming’s My Farm Manager® and the Croptivity® app. Calvin has all of his bins numbered and entered into My Farm Manager so that he can keep track of what’s in the bins, how much he has contracted at specific prices as well as sales throughout the season. “If I sell a load out of there, I go in there, take it out of the bin, and I know pretty close to what’s left in the bin for the next go round.” reports Calvin, “It’s a lot nicer than trying to keep track in my head.”

Two Avenues for Agronomic Support

My Farm Manager has been very helpful on the agronomy side as well. Calvin’s local Corning Co-op also uses Croptivity — so when Co-op does field scouting for Calvin, they can note their observations right in the app, which links directly back to My Farm Manager. That way, information is shared between Co-op, Calvin and Decisive Farming agronomists, who all work together to find the best solutions for Calvin’s farm. “I’m taking two avenues on what to do.”

Calvin has been working closely with Decisive Farming agronomists since he began using Sure Check for his soil testing in 2017. “They give me their suggestions on the soil tests and what their recommendations are for how much product to put on and making sure my fertilizer blends are balanced properly,” Calvin says. It’s about bringing everything together: soil testing to see what’s in the ground, working with yield goals and putting together a nutrient package —all within Calvin’s budget.

Calvin says the agronomic support goes beyond just soil testing, “Anything you have a question on, or are looking for a little advice or whatever, if they don’t know, they try and find out for you.”

“They helped me out quite a bit with my nutrient package that I’ve been putting into my crops; my yields have gone up steadily with them helping me out”

Change … can be good

Introducing Decisive Farming as an extension of Calvin’s on-farm team was exploratory in the beginning, with initial plans to try it for a year or two, and then evaluate results before committing to a long-term partnership. As a second-generation farmer, Calvin’s willingness to embrace innovation and try out Decisive Farming’s services was well-received by his father in the end, who admitted that it was a ‘good call.’ “To get that agronomy help and the marketing help, the whole thing; he’s been really impressed with how it’s gone,” says Calvin.

“You’ll never regret working with them.”

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