Business & Policy
INTRODUCTION: Keep learning
By Peter Darbishire
The number of opportunities for agricultural producers...
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 have
spent some time over the winter absorbing some of the wisdom from these sources.
I had the privilege of listening in on one such session last winter 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 management of wheat.
Though many of last year's winter wheat plantings suffered from less than ideal
conditions or delayed planting, it's an area that demands discussion and decision-making
energy before planting season.
Peter Darbishire, Publisher and editor