It was 20 years ago today, Yield Manitoba came into play.
The annual publication is marking its 20th anniversary and is based on the Manitoba Management Plus Program.
This year marks the data program’s 25th anniversary and Yield Manitoba 2019, included in this issue of the Manitoba Co-operator as a supplemental publication, summarizes and adds context to the data.
“We’ve been providing ‘big data’ since before people knew what big data was,” Doug Wilcox, manager of research administration at the Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), which administers the federal-provincial crop insurance program and Management Plus, said.
Management Plus is the biggest and most comprehensive crop yield data base in Manitoba and perhaps the world, Wilcox said.
Norm Mabon, the retired Manitoba Agriculture farm management specialist who championed the program’s creation, agrees. After all, Management Plus is based on yield, fertilizer and other information supplied by every Manitoba farmer enrolled in crop insurance, covering more than 90 per cent of the province’s 10 million or so acres of crop production.
“It’s not a sample we’re doing here, it’s the whole population,” Mabon, who farms near Notre Dame de Lourdes, said.
By accessing this vast database, researchers and agronomists can dig deep into Manitoba crop yields going back to 1993.
They can find the average yields for insured crops province-wide and break them down to specific risk areas or municipalities. They can get that same information by variety too.
Farmers can then compare their yields with others in the same area and province-wide.
That’s powerful, Wilcox says.
“Any business needs to benchmark for success,” he said. “The first step is being able to compare yourself to the neighbours and things like Management Plus and Yield Manitoba allow you to do that.”
See Yield Manitoba 2019 to better your understanding of how your farm ranks.