International farm machinery manufacturer Väderstad Industries Inc. believes in the work done by the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan (USask) – the knowledge gained will lead to a better future for the world. And in effort to show its support, gifted the college with a 2022 Seed Hawk Väderstad Model 660 Air Cart and SeedHawk Väderstad Model 45-XL Toolbar on a three-year term.
“One of the main purposes of the commercial farming operation is to manage the land in such a manner to maintain or improve the condition of the soil, thereby providing optimal field conditions for researchers,” said Kirk Blomquist, Superintendent, Field Operations at USask. “This air drill will assist in minimizing soil disturbance and reducing fertilizer and planting overlap which will improve the uniformity of the field.”
The two pieces of equipment are designed to enhance the seeding process and will be used by both a research centre and a department with the College of Agriculture and Bioresources. The equipment will support field operations done by the Crop Development Centre (CDC), which focuses on plant breeding and pathology. It also provides the opportunity for the Department of Plant Sciences to grow and examine new seed and plant varieties.
“It is gratifying to know that companies such as Väderstad see value in donating equipment to the College of Agriculture and Bioresources,” said Blomquist. “Donations such as this allow us to use the latest in agricultural equipment technology while allowing us to divert funds that would be used to purchase an air drill to other pressing needs.”
A partnership of shared knowledge
Väderstad has spent decades developing machinery that helps farmers be more efficient in how they work. They develop tillage methods and produce seed drills, cultivators, harrows and rollers suitable for several different climate zones around the world.
“Väderstad itself is a very innovative company, and our focus is on simplifying the work and improving results for farmers,” said Nigel Jones, CEO Väderstad Canada. “Research is what drives our business. Whether that’s the agronomic research that informs what we are going to do with our machine designs, or that’s product research and development that will inform agronomic outputs.”
With the college using Väderstad’s equipment, the Swedish-based company will gain insights into product success in real-world practice, such as testing a particular feature or increased speeds, providing opportunity for product innovations that will benefit producers around the world.
“It’s less about the machine solutions sometimes and more about the agronomic solutions that we can provide by way of the machinery, so the work that’s being done by the Plant Sciences department fits perfectly with these ambitions,” said Jones. “It’s a two-way street and without research we’re not providing the best solutions possible.”
For researchers at the CDC, the ability to put the latest technology to the test in the field provides opportunities to make discoveries that have positive outcomes for the future.
“Donations such as this are a win-win for all parties. Ongoing dialogue between the company and University creates opportunities for both parties to improve,” said Blomquist. “We are extremely grateful and appreciative of our partnership with Väderstad and look forward to strengthening this relationship in the years to come.”