In Focus: Rick Montney

In Focus: Rick Montney

1. How can recordkeeping make a farming operation more productive and efficient?
Montney: Electronic records provide not only activities of who, what, and when, but also can allow farmers to see what caretaking and harvesting jobs are planned or completed on a map of your farm or block. An integrated computer program can reap dividends for the entire farming operation. The key is to capture and enter the information once, at the point of activity, and have it immediately accessible to the people who need it.

2. What are some common missteps made in farm recordkeeping?
Montney: Many good people in this industry believe the old ways of doing things are sufficient. This is changing. Manual processes of recording farming activities and putting them in a shoe box need to become a practice of the past. The recording of farm activities on manual sheets creates mistakes due to legibility, recording the wrong block, etc. Governmental agencies, environmental groups, and labor advocacy groups continually focus on farm activity as a way to justify their existence. Legislative laws are not the only reasons to keep good records electronically. Protecting your family business and making better decisions based on information in your recordkeeping are more than enough reason to make a commitment to better recordkeeping.

3. With the Food Safety Modernization Act now law, how much more important will recordkeeping become?
Montney: Food safety and traceability for today’s farmer are now more critical than ever. We all know what happens when U.S. commodities are initially blamed for foodborne disease outbreaks. Retailers are focused on food safety, and compliance is required to do business in today’s environment. Food safety starts with having a central repository of information about your land, crops, practices, programs, and detailed records on who did what and when. Documenting and following good agricultural practices will help not just your individual farm, but the whole industry avoid this kind of public relations nightmare.

4. What’s the latest “gee-whiz” technology available to growers in this area?
Montney: Today, computers and software are becoming more simple. Internet applications allow users to get the information anytime anywhere. Touch-screen tablet computers, PDAs, iPhones, etc. are now affordable for farmers. Web applications are now being integrated with map technology such as Microsoft Bing Maps and Google Earth. For a simple example, input a search for a hotel and it displays on the map for you to make a choice. Applying the same technology to the agriculture industry allows farmers to look at their farm from a bird’s eye view. Imagine looking at the map of a harvesting schedule, yield maps, chemical applications, a log book, etc., with drill down capabilities. It’s simple, but powerful. The time has arrived for today’s farmer.

Leave a Reply

Featured Stories
Cosmis Crisp apples planting FEATURE
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Focusing On Phenomics In Specialty Crops
It’s not just the nature of your crops — the genomics — it’s also how they are nurtured. Read More
Bob Bender (center) accepts American Vegetable Grower's 2016 Grower Achievement Award from Lonny Smith of AgroLiquid, the award's sponsor, and American Vegetable  Grower editor Rosemary Gordon
Grower Achievement Award
September 27, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The Recipient Of American Vegetable Grower’s 2016 Grower Achievement Award
The award was presented to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections Sept. 13 at United Fresh's Washington Conference. Read More
Urban vegetable farm in rural Cuba
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Rodale Institute Launches An Organic Farming Association
A new national organization for organic growers is designed to provide advocacy, the latest research and education, and information-sharing among farmers. Read More
Marco Rubio tours a Central Florida citrus grove with industry dignitaries
Farm Management
September 27, 2016
Politicians May Be Taking Ag For Granted [Opinion]
Growers have become masters at ensuring a steady food supply, but warning, politicians: Ignore them at your peril. Read More
U.S. Capitol Building FEATURE
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Presidential Candidates Comment On Agricultural Issues
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump weigh in on a number of topics of concern to growers. Read More
'Rave' is a cross between 'Honeycrisp' and an unreleased variety called ‘MonArk.' 'Rave' was bred by the University of Minnesota and will be grown and sold exclusively by Stemilt in the U.S. (Photo credit: Stemilt)
Apples & Pears
September 26, 2016
New Apple Variety Is One Stemilt Hopes Consumers Will ‘Rave’ About
University of Minnesota apple variety will be grown and packed exclusively by Stemilt. Read More
David Wiemann explains how the Scott Henry training system controls vigor with four canes instead of two. (Photo credit: Christina Herrick)
Grapes
September 26, 2016
Where Site And Growing System Meet In The Vineyard
Vineyard manager uses growing systems to control vigor of winegrape varieties. Read More
A reddish “halo” surrounds the point of scale attachment on the fruit, under the skin.  (Photo credit: Art Agnello)
Fruits
September 26, 2016
San Jose Scale Is An Old Pest That Is A New Threat To Apple Growers
Growers see increase in infestations due to changes in chemical control programs. Read More
Florida Sugar Cane field
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Florida Sugarcane Industry Strengthening From Within
Pot sweetens with promotions for three executive staffers of the state’s Growers Cooperative. Read More
Closeup on a citrus blossom in Florida
Citrus Achievement Award
September 26, 2016
Hope Growing Around Bactericides As A Citrus Greening Solution
Citrus Achievement Award winner Marty McKenna is optimistic about new approach to staving off HLB. Read More
The Latest
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Focusing On Phenomics In Specialty Crops
It’s not just the nature of your crops — the genomics — it’s also how they are nurtured. Read More
Grower Achievement Award
September 27, 2016
Tasteful Selections Is The Recipient Of …
The award was presented to Bob Bender of Tasteful Selections Sept. 13 at United Fresh's Washington Conference. Read More
Fruits
September 27, 2016
Rodale Institute Launches An Organic Far…
A new national organization for organic growers is designed to provide advocacy, the latest research and education, and information-sharing among farmers. Read More
Farm Management
September 27, 2016
Politicians May Be Taking Ag For Granted…
Growers have become masters at ensuring a steady food supply, but warning, politicians: Ignore them at your peril. Read More
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Presidential Candidates Comment On Agric…
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump weigh in on a number of topics of concern to growers. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 26, 2016
New Apple Variety Is One Stemilt Hopes C…
University of Minnesota apple variety will be grown and packed exclusively by Stemilt. Read More
Grapes
September 26, 2016
Where Site And Growing System Meet In Th…
Vineyard manager uses growing systems to control vigor of winegrape varieties. Read More
Fruits
September 26, 2016
San Jose Scale Is An Old Pest That Is A …
Growers see increase in infestations due to changes in chemical control programs. Read More
Citrus
September 26, 2016
Florida Sugarcane Industry Strengthening…
Pot sweetens with promotions for three executive staffers of the state’s Growers Cooperative. Read More
Citrus Achievement Award
September 26, 2016
Hope Growing Around Bactericides As A Ci…
Citrus Achievement Award winner Marty McKenna is optimistic about new approach to staving off HLB. Read More
Cucurbits
September 25, 2016
10 Cantaloupe And Melon Varieties You Ne…
Browse this slideshow for more information on 10 cantaloupe and melon varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading Read More
Farm Marketing
September 25, 2016
New York Governor Signs Additional Legis…
Bills allow farm wineries, breweries, and cideries to sell New York-made farm beverages by the glass. Read More
Farm Management
September 24, 2016
Water Woes Continue In Northeast
Hydrologist says this year’s conditions are bad but are part of a typical water cycle. Read More
Berries
September 24, 2016
Time Is Now For Florida Blueberry Grower…
Coming off a challenging season, industry players must continue to adapt to curveballs thrown by Mother Nature and market forces. Read More
Potatoes
September 24, 2016
USDA To Extend Deregulation To Two Lines…
Developed by J.R. Simplot, the potatoes are resistant to late blight, reduced black spot bruising, and lowered reducing sugars. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 23, 2016
USDA Approves Nonregulated Status For ‘A…
Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service announces deregulation of third non-browning apple released from Canadian company. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 23, 2016
Growers Encouraged To Monitor Fruit Temp…
With early harvests, Randy Beaudry of Michigan State University says temperature monitoring is a must. Read More
Berries
September 23, 2016
What U.S. Consumers Think About Florida …
For growers, the good news is that shoppers like what you are serving up. But more can be done to whet appetites. Read More
[gravityform id="62" title="false" description="false"]