Gathering in-field data to advance the full supply chain


The agriculture and agrifood sectors are changing. As technology becomes more advanced and consumer demands change, there’s an increased need for both innovative advancements and collaboration along the value chain.

With their 65-year history of bringing the newest on-farm equipment to producers across Western Canada, Enns Brothers is no stranger to advancements in technology. Over the past several years, however, their role in helping farmers meet their growing needs has evolved; today, the company not only sells the right equipment for each farm’s needs, but also works with farmers directly to capture advanced data and better inform their agronomic services.

From there, it was a natural progression to work with partners across the ecosystem through a Protein Industries Canada project to develop new artificial intelligence technology that can help farmers with infield data collection, agronomic verification and the continuity of in-field data transmission.

“We collectively believe that the farmer—and that moves all the way up the supply chain—is really going to need the most advanced tools possible to be able to gather the most advanced insights that they can get at a field level that you can then port up the supply chain,” Enns Brothers President and CEO Ray Bouchard said. “Those kinds of insights, down the road, we believe will be critically important to be able to be transparent, because the consumers are going to be looking for that kind of information.”

Enns Brothers launched their project with Crop Sentry, DL Seeds, and AGT Food and Ingredients in November 2023. Together, the partners are building on Crop Sentry’s existing technology to optimize in-field sensors for pea and canola crops, allowing farmers to gather phenotype data throughout the growing season. The data will then be used to help make better decisions related to crop quality. The results of this improved quality will ripple throughout the value chain, and help provide ingredient processors with a more consistent supply of protein crops.

“Growers truly need to be able to glean more real-time insights from their crops as they progress through the growth cycle in order to make real-time decisions that will lead to increased and more consistent production,” said Bouchard. “Ingredients processors will require better line of sight to the production cycle and be able to quantify and corroborate what is taking place in the field in order to ensure they are sourcing the right quality and consistency of product for their businesses.”

While working with ingredient processors was a new step for Enns Brothers, Bouchard said that it was the right fit for the project. He explained that each of the partners brings a new set of subject matter experts that the others may not have in-house, leading to a better understanding of how to address gaps in the project work.

At the same time, the work will help Enns Brothers better meet the need of its existing primary agriculture customers.

“As an organization, we continue to be focused on bringing growers the tools and technology that will help best position them to be productive and profitable,” Bouchard said. “Crop dynamics are extremely complex. There are many variables that impact crop outcomes. AI allows us to uncover hidden relationships to gain deeper insights. AI needs data, however and this project is leveraging new data sources to unlock the potential of AI.”

For more information about Enns Brothers, visit www.ennsbrothers.com.