Embracing New Genetics and Technology for Farmers at AgSmart

by | Jul 22, 2023 | Event, Science & Technology

In the dynamic world of agriculture, continuous advancements in technology and genetics play a vital role in shaping the future of farming. Over the past several years, the producers of the Alberta Seed Guide — the Alberta Seed Processors (ASP) and Alberta-British Columbia Seed Growers (ABCSG) — have remained steadfast supporters of the Field Crop Development Centre (FCDC) Lacombe Field Day, supporting the exploration of new genetics and cutting-edge seed technology in the farming industry.

“When many people think of technology, they think of equipment, GPS, drones, all that stuff. But one of the most basic types of new technology for any farm is new genetics,” says Kelly Chambers, executive director of ABCSG.

The interplay of genetics and technology results in a powerful combination that drives progress in modern agriculture, she says. And it will be on display at the beginning of August has the FCDC Lacombe Field Day moves to Olds, Alta., where it will be held in conjunction with AgSmart.

Both events will be held together for the first time, with the Field Day being held Aug. 2.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone, according to organizers, showcasing the latest advancements in breeding programs and inviting attendees to explore the fascinating world of barley breeding specifically.

Kelly Chambers (left) is executive director of the Alberta-British Columbia Seed Growers and Monica Klaas is general manager for the Alberta Seed Processors.

The FCDC’s annual Field Day has traditionally been held in Lacombe, but is being combined with AgSmart to take advantage of the large crowds and showcase the FCDC’s important work to AgSmart attendees. It’s also the FCDC’s 25th anniversary year.

One of the highlights of this year’s FCDC Field Day is a focus on the new generation of barley and triticale varieties coming through the pipeline.

Seeing is believing, and in the realm of agriculture, visual comparisons of new crop varieties against established ones are paramount. Farmers and industry experts can better comprehend the potential benefits and improvements of new genetics when they witness them side by side with familiar crops, adds Monica Klaas, general manager for ASP.

AgSmart recognizes the immense value of new genetics and technology in the farming sector, Klass says. Barley, a versatile crop with numerous uses such as malting, food production, feed, and even forage, captures the attention of various stakeholders, from crop farmers to cattlemen, and dairy sector enthusiasts.

“This is an wonderful opportunity to broaden the audience beyond what would normally be at the traditional look home field day. So I’m really excited to see how it works out on this inaugural year,” Klaas says.

Scheduled for Aug. 2, the new FCDC Field Day at AgSmart will offer three interactive educational sessions led by experts in the field. Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions, participate in discussions, and explore the plots where the new varieties are planted, facilitating hands-on learning experiences.

Among the various topics to be discussed, a crucial theme will be the funding of seed breeding initiatives, Chambers notes. This aspect is vital to ensure continued progress in developing new genetics and technological solutions for the agricultural industry.

“Understanding the investment required for these innovations will be the icing on the cake of this event, making it a significant step towards future advancements,” Chambers adds.

For info on the event, visit the AgSmart website.

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