Alberta Field Day Focuses on Data in Agriculture

Published on September 8, 2023

In mid-August, Calgary-based members of the Anew carbon team, in collaboration with Rural Routes to Climate Solutions, hosted an educational field day for a mixed audience of Albertan farm and ranch stakeholders. The goal? To increase understanding of the importance of data in agriculture, and how to implement techniques that minimize the data collection burden.

The day began in the farming town of Irricana, northeast of Calgary. The first presenter to address the group was Tim Wray, recipient of the 2023 Environmental Stewardship Award from the Canadian Cattle Association. Tim and his uncle, Doug Wray, operate Wray Ranch, a mixed farm in the Irricana area. His presentation offered an honest perspective that covered both the benefits and challenges of implementing sustainable and regenerative practices, along with the true finances of implementation.


Alberta field day 2 pictures
The field day presenters demonstrated a variety of methods to collect and analyze agriculture data. 


Next to present was Rob Dunn from FarmWise Incorporated. As an agronomist focused on cropping systems, Rob’s talk centered on the definition and measurement of key indicators, including key concepts around baselining and sampling density that Anew applies to our own Agri-carbon projects.

Melissa Werkema with Future Analytics wrapped up the morning sessions with a look at lab report interpretation. Using samples from the Wray Ranch she highlighted the importance of testing the soil, the plants, and the farm inputs prior to making agronomic decisions, and how different laboratory methods can impact the interpretation of results.

Following a lunch of sustainably raised beef courtesy of the Wrays and produce from YYC Growers, the group braved the 35° C/95°F heat and shifted activities to Wray Ranch where soil science professor Mathew Swallow of Mount Royal University accompanied the morning’s speakers in demonstrating different techniques for assessing soil in the field. This portion of the day allowed participants to see how different management decisions were reflected in the ranch’s soils and how in-field tests can be cost-effective and informative practices to implement.

“Though the heat of the day really emphasized the drought conditions the province is experiencing, the event was a great success,” said Lewis Robertson, a coordinator of the event and part of Anew’s Agri-carbon team. “From learning the scientific depths of testing fulvic acid, to how seeding a legume affects your bottom line, I think everyone who attended took home an appreciation for the beauty and importance of agronomic data.”

To learn more about Anew’s Agri-carbon programs and future field day opportunities, contact 

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