At the end of the day, canola growers and the industry that supports them all want the same thing — to increase yields, profitability, and sustainability, and reduce production risk.
Curtis Rempel, vice president of crop production and innovation for the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), couldn’t agree more, and he says it’s our agronomic practices that anchor these goals. So how can we communicate these best management practices throughout the industry, with a clear, unified message?
“What we try to do is bring in industry experts. Whether they are scientists, provincial extension people, or industry — like commercial agronomy, plant breeders, marketing people, etc. We try to work through what we call steering committees: fertility steering committees, clubroot, blackleg, etc., and settle on what does the science say, what are the best management practices, how do we communicate that, and what messaging can we all agree on that we can be unified around? And if we have to disagree on some things because we’re not sure of the science or some there’s still some controversy, where can we disagree and then try to leave the disagreements out of the main messaging?” says Rempel.
In order to unify messaging, Rempel says a point of emphasis for the CCC has become working with the commercial agronomists in order to make sure farmers have the most clear and accurate information conveyed to them.
“A little over two years ago we had a strategic priority review, where we started thinking about a ‘train the trainer’ model, whereby we are still staying focused on growers, but the commercial agronomists are really the eyes and ears of farmers. So if we can align our messaging with commercial agronomy, they are sort of the last touchpoint for the farmer. If our message is in alignment with the advice they are giving farmers, we get a lot of traction,” he notes. “It eliminates a lot of confusion. We are spending more time, and thinking, ‘OK — how do we work together, as commercial agronomy, life science, the fertilizer industry, etc., to develop the messages together, and figure out the tools together? Instead of the Canola Council developing tools and saying ‘here, use them’, can we have a more of a give and take around the information.”
Rempel adds that this has really become at the forefront of the CCC in the last half of 2019, and moving into 2020 the push will continue.
Check out the full conversation with Curtis Rempel, below: