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
Vegetables
July 24, 2017
23 Of The Latest Pumpkin Varieties
Browse this slideshow for more details on 23 pumpkin varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
Citrus
July 23, 2017
USDA Invests $7.6 Million toward Beneficial Insect Research
Projects to promote beneficial organisms as part of a pest control strategy. Read More
Citrus
July 22, 2017
Representative from Washington Proposes Amendment to H-2A Program
Move broadens use of H-2A to all of agriculture to include those with multiple crops and harvests. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
July 21, 2017
University of California Launches Website to Update Growers on Citrus Research
Easy-to-read format designed to give growers up-to-date information on huanglongbing and Asian citrus psyllid research. Read More
Hurricane Matthew satellite image as it brushed past Florida
Citrus
July 20, 2017
Atlantic Hurricane Forecast Taken Up a Notch
Current conditions in the tropics warrant marked revision in potential storm season scenarios. Read More
Sunset on Florida potato field day
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Researchers On a Mission to Find More Places for Growing Produce
Federal grant to aid exploration of food security solutions for the future. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Farm Labor Stories Making the News This Week
The agricultural labor shortage is strong enough that the consumer press is beginning to report on it regularly. Here are the stories making headlines this month. Read More
Sweet Corn
July 19, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Corn ‘Anthem XR’ from Rispens Seeds
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, we’re offering Read More
farm hacks collage
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Florida Grower Magazine is Seeking Your Farm Hacks
Life hacks are common in social media threads these days. They are those clever ideas or tricks aimed at making Read More
Organic
July 19, 2017
4 Challenges Large Operations Face in Organic Vegetable Production
Organic vegetable production in Monterey County has evolved over the past 25 years. It was once the domain of small- Read More
Farm Management
July 19, 2017
Tom Nunes, V: The Best Labor Solutions Are When Everyone Wins
Competition for skilled farm labor is fierce in the West. But Nunes Vegetables, Inc. believes when growers work together, they will attract more workers to their community. Read More
Fruits
July 14, 2017
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Predator Egg Mass Found
Samuri wasp parasitized egg mass found in Southern New Jersey peach orchard. Read More
Rain drops on leaf
Citrus
July 14, 2017
Everglades Agricultural Area Farmers Winning at Water Quality
Annual report shows use of best management practices results in another massive reduction in phosphorus flow. Read More
cut watermelon
Cucurbits
July 13, 2017
Scientists Keying in on Sweeter and Stronger Watermelon Varieties
New study shows grafting can give growers an upper hand on soilborne disease threats. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
The Road is Long to Farm Bill 2018 [Opinion]
Participation in this process will be crucial to ensure your needs are understood and addressed. Read More
The Latest
Vegetables
July 24, 2017
23 Of The Latest Pumpkin Varieties
Browse this slideshow for more details on 23 pumpkin varieties you need to know about from the nation’s leading seed breeders and distributors. Read More
Citrus
July 23, 2017
USDA Invests $7.6 Million toward Benefic…
Projects to promote beneficial organisms as part of a pest control strategy. Read More
Citrus
July 22, 2017
Representative from Washington Proposes …
Move broadens use of H-2A to all of agriculture to include those with multiple crops and harvests. Read More
Insect & Disease Update
July 21, 2017
University of California Launches Websit…
Easy-to-read format designed to give growers up-to-date information on huanglongbing and Asian citrus psyllid research. Read More
Citrus
July 20, 2017
Atlantic Hurricane Forecast Taken Up a N…
Current conditions in the tropics warrant marked revision in potential storm season scenarios. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Researchers On a Mission to Find More Pl…
Federal grant to aid exploration of food security solutions for the future. Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Farm Labor Stories Making the News This …
The agricultural labor shortage is strong enough that the consumer press is beginning to report on it regularly. Here are the stories making headlines this month. Read More
Sweet Corn
July 19, 2017
Variety Specs | Production Tips: Corn &#…
Each month, American Vegetable Grower® will offer growing tips on specific varieties, supplied by the breeder or distributor. This month, we’re offering Read More
Citrus
July 19, 2017
Florida Grower Magazine is Seeking Your …
Life hacks are common in social media threads these days. They are those clever ideas or tricks aimed at making Read More
Organic
July 19, 2017
4 Challenges Large Operations Face in Or…
Organic vegetable production in Monterey County has evolved over the past 25 years. It was once the domain of small- Read More
Farm Management
July 19, 2017
Tom Nunes, V: The Best Labor Solutions A…
Competition for skilled farm labor is fierce in the West. But Nunes Vegetables, Inc. believes when growers work together, they will attract more workers to their community. Read More
Fruits
July 14, 2017
Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Predator Egg …
Samuri wasp parasitized egg mass found in Southern New Jersey peach orchard. Read More
Citrus
July 14, 2017
Everglades Agricultural Area Farmers Win…
Annual report shows use of best management practices results in another massive reduction in phosphorus flow. Read More
Cucurbits
July 13, 2017
Scientists Keying in on Sweeter and Stro…
New study shows grafting can give growers an upper hand on soilborne disease threats. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
The Road is Long to Farm Bill 2018 [Opin…
Participation in this process will be crucial to ensure your needs are understood and addressed. Read More
Citrus
July 13, 2017
Trade Talk to Top Florida Fruit & Ve…
Trade issues are top of mind these days for specialty crop producers. Efforts have been underway since early this year Read More
Citrus
July 12, 2017
Shaky Florida Citrus Season Skids to a S…
Final USDA tally confirms continuing downward trend of production in the HLB era. Read More
Citrus Achievement Award
July 12, 2017
Encourage New Citrus Growth by Getting B…
2017 Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner Ed Pines says producing crops under protective screen is a way to farm more and stress less. Read More