2014 Winner: Innovation In Agricultural Science Sponsored By Dow AgroSciences Canada Inc.
Data Integration Improves Farm Economics
Born from four generations and over 100 years of agricultural business experience, Decisive Farming has emerged to incubate the next generation of farming technology. In 2011 Remi Schmaltz, his brother Tasha Schmaltz and Garth Donald founded Decisive Farming in Irricana. Although Schmaltz says he never planned to go into the family business, he always thrived on creating something new.
“For me it was the ability to create and change something that really pulled me in. You could come into something and there’s this problem or this situation and how do we fix it and how do we make it better?” asks Schmaltz.
Quickly Making an Impact
In just a few years, Decisive Farming has made a significant impact on the farm industry. They offer highly effective farm management solutions to grain and oilseed farmers, geared towards farm profitability and ease of use.
“It’s really about efficiency in creating better decisions on the farm,” Schmaltz says.
Their patent-pending variable rate technology (Optimize RXtm) and crop marketing services (Know-Risktm) are gaining substantial traction in the market. With the launch of their data integration service, My Farm Managertm, Decisive Farming is expanding their services to new levels of information management and data accessibility on the farm.
Increasing efficiency and productivity is the primary focus. Decisive Farming is enabling a single agronomist to manage four hundred thousand acres of farmland, which is eight times the typical capacity. Through Optimize RX and variable rate application of seeds and fertilizer, grower production is typically increased by 10 per cent.
The heart of My Farm Manager is creating a central hub where the majority of the farm’s information can be stored and easily accessed.
“My Farm Manager connects the service providers, the key people and the data on the farm.”
There are multiple people who work in connection with the farm from accountants and equipment dealers to agronomists and crop marketers. Through My Farm Manager, all the farm information reaches the right people in near real-time. “It’s value creation for the grower but also for the service providers that work on the farm,” Schmaltz adds.
Although Decisive Farming operates in agriculture, one of the oldest industries, they are trying to erase the stigma that agriculture is antiquated. They are achieving this by revolutionizing the industry through the adoption of technology. Schmaltz says he looks to other industries to see how problems are being solved and then looks at how those technology solutions could be applied to agriculture.
“In some cases, maybe you’re reinventing the wheel, but a lot of the time some of the best inventors out there just read the book again.”
Leading in Customer Satisfaction
Decisive Farming is not only innovating the agricultural sector, they are providing exceptional services for customers.
“From 2006 to today, we have a 96 per cent retention rate of our whole farm customers. No matter what you do, to me it’s all about the customer and it’s all about customer service.”
This philosophy continues as the company grows and creates global partnerships. The key for Decisive Farming is to create a scalable model that can expand globally.
“When you start hitting further exponential growth you continue to manage and make sure that you can maintain happy customers at the end of the day,” he says.