Business & Policy
INTRODUCTION: Keep learning
By Peter Darbishire
The number of opportunities for agricultural producers to improve their business management skills is increasing across the country
By Peter Darbishire
The number of opportunities for agricultural producers to improve their business
management skills is increasing across the country. Farm organizations and professional
advisory groups who serve them are paying much more attention to helping in
this process by staging conferences and seminars. Hopefully, many readers will
be absorbing some of the wisdom from these sources.
I had the privilege of listening in on one such session recently at the Richard
Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. For the fourth
consecutive year, Syngenta Crop Protection brought a select group of farmers
from across Canada together for three days of intense and enjoyable learning
about various aspects of business management: from financial, to workforce challenges
and managing opportunities.
All farmers are facing the modern challenges brought to them by new technology
and the sheer pace of change, not only in field techniques, but in dealing with
pressures imposed by world market forces and consumer expectations. Like these
participants, all of us in agriculture must continuously ask ourselves why some
businesses are more successful than others, even in a depressed market, and
why some achieve greater heights in strong markets? Not only that, but we must
decide how we want to participate.
Away from the business management side for a moment: this issue of Top Crop
Manager has some great agronomic advice, especially in the topic area of
weed and disease management, and on fertility and nutrients: areas that demand
discussion and decision-making energy before seeding season. We also include
an extensive feature from Carolyn King on the emerging ethanol business: like
it or not, this industry will affect agriculture profoundly in the near future.
Peter Darbishire, Publisher and editor