When Mike Palmier started Max Ag Consulting as an agronomy consulting company in 2019, he never expected that SWAT MAPS would become the core of his business and his scouting work would be complimentary.
“I started an agronomy consulting company and now we’re more of a services company with an agronomic focus,” said Palmier in a recent interview. “None of this was in my five-year plan. Our partnership with SWAT MAPS has helped us grow bigger than we ever expected. SWAT MAPS is central to our business and our customers.”
Finding value in VR
As a SWAT MAPS Service Provider, Max Ag Consulting works with farmers within 150kms of Plenty, SK. Four years into utilizing the SWAT MAPS technology, Palmier says he has seen many shifted mindsets in farmers. Farms in year three or four of using the technology are starting to see big differences after initially being hesitant to test it out.
“Some of our customers right off the bat said they weren’t interested in VR and didn’t believe in it. We continued with their scouting and once they started learning about the differences in areas of their field, the lightbulb came on,” states Palmier. “What we can do with the maps starts to make sense to them. Farms aren’t doing what’s cool. They want to see the results.”
Palmier’s customer acre retention rate is now above 98% and customer referrals are generating significant business for him.
The mission of Max Ag Consulting is to help their clients make better decisions in order to maximize their field potential. “SWAT MAPS isn’t just a map telling us where the crop is better or worse. We analyze the data and learn from historic trends, nutrient responsiveness, and more,” said Palmier. “For example, we found we can get as big of a return on investment with adjusting seeding rates as we can with varying fertilizer rates. We’re helping identify issues and creating strategies to improve crop production with VR.”
Not pressing the easy button
Now consisting of six full time employees, Max Ag Consulting strives to provide honest and proven agronomic advice to their customers. “We aren’t afraid to do the hard work,” said Palmier. “It would be easy to send a spray application without ever checking it, but is that the right thing to do? We don’t press the easy button with precision ag or VR.”
“SWAT MAPS has changed our whole thinking of what’s going on in the field. We analyze a lot of data with SWAT and we’re learning a lot about trends in historic data, nutrient responsiveness and more,” said Palmier. “We’re continually ground truthing our assumptions and improving our understanding year after year, while also learning how the crop is responding in different environmental conditions.”
The challenge of precision ag
Understanding where precision agriculture has a practical application on farms is a top consideration for their team of agronomists. “We continue to work with our customers on taking new technologies and ensuring they fit on the farm. The challenge of precision ag is the industry tries to build everything on a computer and they don’t have people in the field to validate it. We’re constantly asking how we can make the machines and people work together seamlessly. We’re in the middle helping our customers with the adoption of technology. We make sure it’s the right fit for them and will bring the results they are looking for.”
The SWAT MAPS Team is proud to work alongside dedicated teams like the one at Max Ag Consulting. Stay tuned with what’s happening in their area of West-Central Saskatchewan by following them on social media or visiting their website:
Farmers: visit https://swatmaps.com/partner-locator/ to find a SWAT MAPS Service Provider near you.
Service providers: Contact us for partnership opportunities.