TMR Talks to the Farmers volume 1: Our friend in Canada, Mark Keating

Mark Keating is a wheat farmer in Canada.  In this brief video, he walks us through some of the factors farmers deal with on a regular basis, and why treated crops are safer and  produce more.

“This morning, I’m walking through a very dense, very lush and healthy field of wheat.  The wheat and barley crop this year is off to one of the best starts we’ve had in a very long time.  Conditions are very favorable for a good yield this year.  Those same conditions of good moisture and good temperatures, and strong heavy crop canopy, are very favorable for disease development.  So, what we’ll be up to the next few days is applying fungicide to the wheat and barley crop to maximize yield potential.  In the past we’ve experienced as much as a 50% yield response with our single fungicide application. 

What this does for us on a very local level is maximize our crop revenue, maximize our profitability.  More importantly, what it does is lower our total unit cost of production.  On a field like this without a fungicide application, our break even cost of production would be about 7 dollars per bushel. With one single fungicide application, we should expect bringing that break-even cost down to somewhere between 4.50 and 5. 

Obviously it’s a benefit to consumers, lowering that cost.  The other thing it does of course is lowers the incentive and reduces the pressure on other farmers around the world to break new land and bring it into crop production.  Whether its farmers in the US Midwest, or Brazil, by maximizing production on land that’s already broken we’re reducing that incentive.

  In strictly food terms, this is a half section of wheat with one fungicide application that we can expect to produce about a million loaves of bread.  Without that [fungicide] application, we’d expect between 6 and seven hundred thousand.  This is what a field of wheat looks like.  Hope you have a great day.”

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