“Modern day agriculture — through advancement in technology — is only a smartphone away from the customers.” – Garret Driver, North America Supply Chain Manager, Nuseed Americas. Read more on his insight for 2021.
What are the key topics/issues that canola and sunflower growers are facing right now?
In most recent times it is in field pests. This last season saw a huge increase in flea beetle activity in canola. Sunflowers likely see most of their pests later in the season being downy mildew or sunflower head moth or seed weevil, all of which require chemistry to help manage.
What are the biggest challenges and how can they be overcome?
From a production standpoint, I think it is pest management, which is the biggest challenge. Most integrated pest management programs require a multi-prong approach. It is best to look at chemistry and cultural practices that can be used to help overcome the threats and vulnerability for the specific insects or disease that need to be overcome.
What do you foresee for the industry in 2021 and beyond?
Change, opportunity, and growth. Agriculture is one of the proven resilient industries that no matter the geography, we find a way to adapt. I think better yielding varieties, with earlier maturity are on the horizon. Modern day agriculture — through advancement in technology — is only a smartphone away from the customers. For Nuseed, it is not simply looking for increased tons of grain or crop, but ultimately increased value in the products, which are being brought to market. These will range from higher oil content, healthier oil profile and wider adaptability into commodity markets to give customers more choices on how and where to market their grain even after planting. Focusing to bring value to the end user will continue to add value to the growers providing those products to market.
Garrett Driver was born and raised on a family farm in Northern California where his family still grows rice, wheat, safflower, milo, corn, sunflowers, melons and walnuts. He currently works at Nuseed Americas as the North America Supply Chain Manager where he oversees and manages the seed production process for sunflowers and canola from R&D through commercial sales.