Earlier this month, we hosted an event at Agri-Trade 2018 for select Morris dealers and customers. The event featured a panel discussion about key challenges and needs for the future from two Morris customers, and insight into why growers choose Morris.
Meet the Panel Members
Jason Anderson farms approximately 7,000 acres of canola, wheat, barley, flax, peas and oats on a 3rd generation farm near Paradise Valley, AB. He runs a 71’ C2 Contour and a 9650 ICT tank. He was one of the first customers to demo the Quantum this past spring, trying out a new 70’ Quantum and 9100 ICT air cart.
Todd Hames runs a 4th generation, 5000-acre farm near Marwayne, AB where he grows canola, wheat, peas and corn. He uses a 71’ C2 Contour with a 9650 ICT are cart and is one of the first growers to ever use the Morris sectional control technology. This year marks his fifth crop running a Morris drill.
Anthony Axley is a sales rep at Agriterra Equipment in Dewberry, AB. Anthony has been selling Morris equipment for almost 15 years.
Key Challenges and Future Needs for Growers
We already know that the unpredictable growing conditions this year were one of the biggest challenges growers faced, but Todd and Jason highlighted another major challenge they’re experiencing in their operations: the rising cost of production.
Todd: I think some of the challenges going forward are going to be cost of production. One of the things I like about the Morris seeder is it runs really smoothly, and we really don’t have a lot of trouble with it, and wear is low on it. So the cost of running that seeder over the ground is reduced. So, I think that is one thing to help to the challenges that we’re facing, as we go forward here, cost of equipment and labour.
Both growers pointed out that it’s important that hired labourers can easily operate the equipment they use on their farms. Less time spent training and monitoring hired help is more time spent in the field, though speed cannot come at the cost of accuracy or consistency.
Todd: The ease of use of the machine makes labour easier – when you can trust that machine with a hired man and you know it’s seeding at the right depth all day long. I think that’s a big thing, labour is a challenge.
Jason: We hired a guy that this spring that had never run a drill, and within the first day, I had him seeding by himself and filling, with no issues.
Another key factor the panel highlighted is the need for equipment that runs smoothly and wears slowly, offsetting the initial cost of purchasing equipment with a longer return on investment.
Looking to the future, Jason mentioned a need to be more efficient, especially compared to places that have access to cheaper land and cheaper labour. Seeding more acres using less manpower is vital to remaining competitive.
Jason: Well, just being more efficient, we got to try and keep ahead of everybody else in the world, that has cheaper land. So we have to find a way to make up for that. So if it’s being able to seed more acres with the same machine with less manpower, and place our canola seed more efficient, things like that, but we just – that’s a constant battle, I guess.
On Todd’s operation, there’s a need for ease and consistency.
Todd: The ease of farming, like, the more consistent the drill works – we all know that seeding is one of our most critical operations. If you do the seeding correctly, everything else is easier all year, you make a mistake seeding, and you’re fixing that all year long.
Why Choose Morris?
So, why choose Morris? According to Anthony, it’s the high value for your dollar.
Anthony: I’ve talked to my customers [about why they choose Morris]. Innovation is one of the top ones there with Morris’ serviceability, accuracy, and the 360 line come in handy for my guys during the seeding time. And [Morris is] always willing to listen to the customer. Accuracy, seed germination, just value for your dollar, you get a lot of value out of Morris equipment for the dollar.
For Todd, being able to get crops in earlier has made a difference:
Todd: Evenness of the crop gives us quicker maturity. And then when the crops quit growing September 1st, because of smoke and other issues, that even maturity and being able to get in those crops earlier definitely makes us more money. So I do believe it has improved our yields.
And while Jason also credits his increased yields this year to a change in their fertilizer program, he says his Morris drill just makes things easier, allowing him to place fertilizer only where he needed it.
Quantum’s Best Features – A Grower Perspective
We’d have been remiss if we didn’t ask Jason what he saw as the best features in the Quantum.
Jason: Being able to change the shank pressure at certain times from the cab on the go. Floatation tires make a big difference, seeding around wet potholes. The frame definitely looks stronger. But to me, we never had an issue with any problems with the frame before…but long term that looks like it should be a benefit.
He also liked the easier access manifold and the lack of plugging due to the increased flowability of the hoses.
A huge thank you from everyone at Morris to our panel members, customers and friends who attended this event. We love to hear directly from growers at every chance we get. From the tradeshow floor to the panel, we’re taking all that we’ve learned and applying it to continuously improve the products we bring to market.
What do you see as the key challenges and future needs for growers in Western Canada? Tweet us at @Morris_Seeding.