Keith Melnyk of V33 Farms has been farming with his dad John, and brother Wayne, for approximately 30 years. Together, they run a 3,000 acre farm in Alberta’s Peace Country, east of Manning, where they grow canola, wheat, peas, oats and some forage grasses for seed.
From flat rate to variable rate
Keith first started working with Decisive Farming by TELUS Agriculture in 2016 when he tried Optimize RX® variable rate on 320 acres. Prior to that, he had been applying fertilizer at a flat rate based on his knowledge and experience of the land. After using Optimize RX, Keith was impressed with the results and has been using variable rate ever since.
Tailored prescriptions, personalized service
Keith works closely with Landon Vandemark, Territory Manager, and Garth Donald, Manager of Agronomy, both at Decisive Farming, to build his nutrient management plans. Keith applies fertilizer in the fall, which can be a busy time of year, particularly when going straight from combining to fertilizing. These relationships that Keith and Decisive Farming have developed have helped smooth out that process.
Garth has a solid understanding of Keith’s land and goals for the farm. Even when time gets tight in the fall, Garth is able to work efficiently to prepare a fertilizer prescription for NH3 fall application that is tailored to Keith’s farm. Then in the spring, another prescription is prepared to review everything and ensure a thorough fertility plan for the farm based on current conditions. “When you can talk (directly) to the agronomist that’s looking after your prescriptions…that’s a bonus.” says Keith.
“I generally don’t worry about the fertilizer now, I let (Decisive Farming) handle it and do the variable rate; whatever prescriptions (Decisive Farming provides) I apply.”
Variable rate delivers to the bottom line
Optimize RX variable rate has consistently delivered to Keith’s bottom line. On canola, Keith uses less fertilizer to get the same yields — he maximizes his input efficiency by putting only what he needs where he needs it. On cereal crops, Keith uses the same amount of fertilizer but gets higher yields — he puts the right amount of product in the right places to maximize yields across his field.
“Both ways your profit margin has gone up.”
When it works, you stick with it
Keith says when it comes to farming, there’s always something new to learn. Year to year, you may need to make changes — what might’ve worked last year may not work next year. And the weather can change everything. One thing that won’t be changing on Keith’s farm is his use of Optimize RX for variable rate applications. The increased yields, efficient use of inputs, personalized service and increased profits have proven to be a winning combination for Keith and V33 Farms.
“You guys have done all good for me”