Every year, Canada’s Outstanding Young Farmers Program recognizes growers aged 18-39 who demonstrate excellence in their profession and contribute to the nation’s expanding agricultural sector. This year, Carman-based growers Jason and Laura Kehler were selected as Manitoba’s Outstanding Young Farmers, a distinction that will take them to Niagara Falls, ON in November to contend for the national Young Farmers title.
In part, the couple credits their success to their longstanding and uniformly positive relationship with Farmers Edge. “Farmers Edge was very young when we started. It was brand new,” Jason said. “Wade Barnes came down himself and wrote us our first variable rate map.”
Today, Farmers Edge provides the Kehlers with Variable Rate Technology (VRT) from corner to corner of their 5,600-acre operation and remains a key ally to the couple as they set agricultural standards for Manitoba and Canada. “We work closely with Farmers Edge, and have a great relationship with the team that helps us,” Jason continued. “I wouldn’t want to be without them now, that’s for sure.”
Working with Farmers Edge is an integral component of the Kehlers’ commitment to the best and most productive farming, part and parcel to the rich agricultural tradition in Manitoba. At the start of their relationship with Farmers Edge, the Kehlers were looking for a limited application to address an issue with their potato crop. “At first we were looking to improve our yields and quality in our potatoes, so we started using variable rate fertilizer,” Jason said. “It worked quite well – so well, in fact, that we had the confidence to start using it on the rest of our crops.”
Throughout their ten-year partnership with Farmers Edge, the Kehlers have implemented the company’s Precision Solutions™ platform across their entire acreage of potatoes, corn, wheat, oats, canola, soybeans, seed soybeans, and edible beans. This has led to a marked improvement in overall productivity on their farm, including a nearly 50% increase in total crop production acres and an over 100% increase in processing potato acres since 2014.
With the commodity markets in flux, highly successful growers like Kehler have adopted precision tools to fine-tune inputs and reduce costs. Transitioning from VRT from Farmers Edge to the entire Precision Solutions™ package, the Kehlers have been able to accurately apply inputs in the right spot at the right time and now are “getting the biggest bang for their buck.”
Growing environmental concerns in the agriculture sector have made precision even more important. For Kehler, the decision to adopt Farmers Edge – and to continue working with them for a decade – was simple: “What got us started was just trying to produce a better crop – that’s the bottom line. We were just trying to do a better job with what we have, and Farmers Edge allowed us to do that.” In working with Farmers Edge, Kehler has the tools to efficiently manage nutrient inputs and to assess the environmental impact of his growing practices, ensuring the highest sustainable yields possible.
After witnessing the benefits of precision agriculture firsthand, a future with Farmers Edge was a no-brainer for Kehler: “We never looked back.” For the Kehlers and Farmers Edge, technology-enabled farming is a natural evolution in ensuring a prosperous future for the agriculture economy throughout Canada. Farmers Edge is pleased to support growers like the Kehlers at the forefront of the next generation of agriculture and offer their congratulations to their achievements. Best of luck in November, Jason and Laura!
Jason Kehler was recently featured in a Precision Ag article, written by Matthew Grassi, for his success with implementing variable rate technology and precision agriculture practices on his fields with Farmers Edge.
To view the full story, visit: http://www.precisionag.com/precisionag-center/think-data-first-achieveland/