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

All Vegetables Stories >All Fruits Stories >All Nuts Stories >All Citrus Stories >

The Latest

CitrusFlorida Department Of Citrus Knocks NPR Piece Over Juic…
August 28, 2014
Agency goes to bat for the industry regarding statement slighting OJ's health benefits. Read More
Disease ControlLate Blight Update Reveals Heightened Activity
August 28, 2014
While several states in the Northeast have confirmed the presence of late blight, the disease has not been reported in North Dakota or Minnesota. Read More
CitrusFlorida Energy Firm Charged Up About Citrus Biomass Pot…
August 28, 2014
Machine called a game-changer when it comes to a cost-effective, efficient way for tree removal and re-purposing. Read More
EquipmentNew Tractors Improve Maneuverability And Operator Contr…
August 28, 2014
The Magnum Rowtrac tractors from Case IH meet growers’ cropping needs through a wide variety of row spacing and belt options.   Read More
NutsCalifornia County Passes Ordinance To Protect Walnut Gr…
August 27, 2014
Verification of ownership needed to complete sales of valuable nuts. Read More
NutsAlmond Growers Hit By Russian Import Limits
August 27, 2014
Growers reflect on changes to export market in light of produce ban. Read More
Farm ManagementLeadership And Management Expert To Speak At California…
August 27, 2014
Daniel Goleman will make presentation at California State University-Fresno. Read More
CitrusNational Scientific Summit On Herbicide Resistant Weeds…
August 27, 2014
Topics to be covered include the economics of proactively managing herbicide resistance, education and outreach efforts, and incentives and regulatory initiatives. Read More
FruitsFlorida Organic Group Dedicated To Serving Growers, Com…
August 27, 2014
Education and development programs are plentiful for interested producers. Read More
VegetablesExperimental Herbicide Technology Blasts Weeds In Rows
August 27, 2014
The technology uses an air compressor to spray corncob grit on both sides of a crop, killing young weeds. Read More
Disease ControlFungal Disease Outbreak Hits Pacific Northwest Vegetabl…
August 27, 2014
An outbreak of blackleg, light leaf spot, and white leaf spot can be significant problems in several vegetable crops.   Read More
CitrusClean Water Conundrum: Ditch The Rule Or Ditch The Myth…
August 26, 2014
Regulation inundation causing a rising tide of confusion for farmers. Read More
BerriesMichigan State University Extension Offers Tips To Prev…
August 26, 2014
Humidity, rainy periods conducive to disease development. Read More
FruitsSpotted Wing Drosophila Populations Rising In Michigan
August 26, 2014
Extension researchers advise berry growers on trapping, salt testing to take stock of pest population. Read More
Apples & PearsNorthwest Pear Crop Estimate Revised Upward
August 26, 2014
Washington and Oregon pear growers forecast a larger size crop than that originally estimated. Read More
VegetablesAgrium Acquires A Controlling Interest In Biotech Compa…
August 26, 2014
The company also acquires stake in Agricen Sciences as part of strategic effort to expand their offering of integrated, next-generation plant health technologies. Read More
Insect ControlCover All Angles When Taking On Threecornered Alfalfa H…
August 25, 2014
Learn how to ID, the survival and spread, and management methods for this insect pest. Read More
GrapesEarthquake Shakes Up Napa Wine Industry
August 25, 2014
Sunday’s early morning quake was centered just six miles from the city of Napa. Read More