Seeding Goes Wireless - Leader Post

Posted Jun 21, 2013 in Blog & Industry News

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Graeme Lempriere, CEO of Clean Seed Capital with the company's Bluetooth-enabled CX-6 crossover drill at the Canada Farm Progress Show on Thursday.

Photograph by: Bryan Schlosser, Regina Leader-Post , Leader-Post

Midale farmer Colin Rosengren has been seeding crop in southern Saskatchewan his entire life, prompting a curiosity to find a way to seed more efficiently.

Rosengren is now vice-president of agronomic practices and protocols at Clean Seed Capital Group, which introduced the first high-precision wireless seeding drill at Canada's Farm Progress Show (CFPS) in Regina this week.

Rosengren, who holds a bachelor's of science degree in mechanized agriculture from the University of Saskatchewan, said he was "basically looking for a new way to achieve higher resolution in seeding ... it's something I've always wanted to do, and to be involved with this level of technology is really exciting."

For the first time ever, Saskatchewan farmers and visitors are viewing and buying the bluetooth-technology equipped seed cleaner at CFPS.

Rosengren developed it with Graeme Lempriere, CEO of Clean Seed Capital Group. The product was first tested on a farm in Weyburn last fall.

Lempriere said he wanted to showcase it for the first time in Regina because CFPS is the biggest event of its kind in the industry and the country.

"We couldn't be happier here, we've had great feedback (and) a lot of interested farmers," said Lempriere.

Lempriere said the machine "precisely meters and limits waste and input (and) refines the inputs, saving on input costs - including overlap protection."

The innovative machinery can separate and handle a variety of six different seeds while fertilizing.

The drill spans 60 feet or more, depending upon field size.

"This is a huge step in precision of our applications, so it's really the next generation of seeding machine where (farmers) can have exact precise resolution in every square foot of the field," said Rosengren.

Rosengren believes "the future of the product is the next wave of seeder for the entire Prairies."

Using the wireless drill means there is no more overlap and no misapplication issues. For example, turning has a high error probability - a common problem in existing seeding machinery.

"We feel really blessed to be here today (at CFPS). Our team has worked very hard for a long time to be here and we're proud to be in Regina," said Lempriere.

Lempriere is hoping to win the people's choice innovation award on Friday, the last day of CFPS.

Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said Saskatchewan is an ideal place to develop and use new agricultural technology.

Saskatchewan is home to 40 per cent of Canada's arable farm land, and agriculture employs more than 50,000 Saskatchewanians, twice as many as the oil and gas sector, he said.

"This province is a leader in agricultural resources, bio-technology, crop genetics and a pioneer in technology that helps us to produce more with less," said Stewart.

By 2020 Saskatchewan is aiming to increase crop production by 10 million pounds and agri-food exports by 50 per cent from $10 billion up to $15 billion.

syoung@postmedia.com

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