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Economic Development and the Cloud: The Alberta Advantage -- Chris Perry, Grow The Energy Circle


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Chris Perry, an Alberta potato farmer, presented these slides as part of the Cybera Summit 2011 session entitled, Economic Development and the Cloud: The Alberta Advantage. To learn more about this event or to watch videos archives of this and the other sessions, visit

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Economic Development and the Cloud: The Alberta Advantage -- Chris Perry, Grow The Energy Circle

  1. 1. Cybera  Summit  2011  -­‐  Banff  
  2. 2. A  Spud  Farmer…  Its  true:      
  3. 3. History  of  Farming   now  here’s  something  you  didn’t  think  you  were  coming  to  Banff  to  hear…    What  does  ICT  Cloud  compuCng  and  the   FerCle  Crescent   Neolithic  Farming  RevoluCon  (end  of  the  stone   age)  10,000  years  ago  have  in  common?     They  are  new  cu8ng  edge  technology  of  their  ;me…    Farming  RevoluCon  –  8000  BC  in  the  FerCle  Crescent  and  other  areas      Birth  of  civilizaCon  and  abundant  populaCons    For  the  first  Cme  in  Human  history  people  were  “rich”      Allowed  a  lifestyle  change  that  brought  about  the  luxury  of  free  Cme,  -­‐   beginning  of  wriCng  and  art  and  somewhere  down  the  road…     cloud  compuCng  
  4. 4. Important  factors  of  the   Farming  RevoluCon  Period   Producing  enough  food  to  support  a  healthy   community,  survival   Security  of  food  supplies  from  raiding   neighbors  –  began  civilizaCon  and  hierarchies     Rise  and  fall  of  Empires  based  on  producCvity   of  land,  water,  ferClity  and  the  cycle  of  Mother   Nature  (MNS)    
  5. 5. So  begins  a  quest  for     food  producCon  sustainability    and  a  required  increase  in  yield  /  acre   to  support  the  growing  populaCon  
  6. 6. Game  changing  events  of  agriculture   Cyber   GMO     Infrastructure   Green  RevoluCon   ART 1940-­‐70:  high  yielding   varieCes,  distribuCon  of   ferClizer  and    pesCcides  Yi Haber  –  Bosch   Feeding  1/3  to  ½    e Of  the  populaCon  today  l Industrial    RevoluCon   ARTd Nutrient   Mid  1800’s   Early  1900’s     Justus  von  Liebig   addi9on   “law  of  the   minimum”   ART Farming   Revolu9on   8000BC   A RT irriga9on   Time  
  7. 7. Reality  Today  
  8. 8. Farming’s  Sustainable  areas:  1.  Climate,  Land  and  water  2.  Community,  communicaCon  3.  DistribuCon  of  goods,  and  inputs  4.  Energy  security  5.  Economics  
  9. 9. Important  factors  of  the     Farming  RevoluCon  Period  TODAY    Producing  enough  food  to  support  a  healthy  community  Planet     Security  of  food  supplies  –  Food  Safety     Rise  and  fall  of  Empires  PopulaCon  based  on  producCvity  of  land,   water,  ferClity  and  the  cycle  of  Mother  Nature      (MNS)      And  so  begins  conCnues  a  quest  for  food  producCon   sustainability  -­‐    indeed  an  increase  in      yield  /  acre  
  10. 10. How  can  Cyber  Infrastructure  Help?  1.  Best  Management  PracCces  –  with  Knowledge  of  Today  2.  Food  safety,  and  real  Cme  public  communicaCon    3.      Precision  Agriculture  dialed  up  –  this  is  not  new    The  implementaCon  of  yesterdays     ideas,  with  technology,     data  analysis  and  management     capacity  of  today    Empathy  and  a  Desire  to    feed  the  world!   Can  we  together  help  create  Alberta’s  new  champion  
  11. 11. Best  Management  PracCce  What  we  are  doing  with  technology  available  today   Built  in  Alberta…  
  12. 12. Best  Management  PracCce    What  we  are  doing  with  technology  available  today  What  we  are  doing…  
  13. 13. Grow, Live, Be the Change
  14. 14. hhp://  
  15. 15. 2.  Food  safety,  food  producCon   communicaCon      record  keeping,  regulaCon  and  traceability   stewardship    Real  Cme  seamless  communicaCon    With  variable  rate  technology,  new  regulaCon   and  record  keeping  regulaCon,  there  is  a  dire   need  for  advanced  technical  help  in  the   agricultural  field    CollaboraCon  necessary,  tecconnect  center  in   Lethbridge  a  superb  example  of  iniCaCng  the   collaboraCon  required  
  16. 16. 3.  Precision  Agriculture:  Incredible  PotenCal  to  increase  the     Yield  /  Acre!    The  technology  available  today    Where  it  can  take  us  tomorrow  
  17. 17. Field  Variability:  Significance…  
  18. 18. Variable  Rate  Technology  
  19. 19. Infra  Red  and  other  sensor  technology   from  satellites  
  20. 20. Understanding  an  IrrigaCon  Pivot  
  21. 21. Variable  Rate  IrrigaCon  GIS  and  recipe  referenced  
  22. 22. A  Potato  Field  2010:   Planted  acres:  128    operaConal  inputs  $2222/ac   Harvested  acres:  80  
  23. 23. Potato  Fields  2010:   Potato  Fields  2011:   Planted  Acres:  1300   Planted  Acres:  1280  Harvested:  998  (82%)     Harvested:  1097  (87%)     same  inputs   same  inputs  
  24. 24. Beher  Potato  Fields  –    What  it  needs  to  look  like!  
  25. 25. Yield  Sept  17th   Picture  late  June     Picture  late  July  
  26. 26. Yield  esCmate   This  field:   ~  20%  -­‐  20  t/ac  or  more   ~60%  -­‐  16-­‐19t/ac     ~20%  -­‐  <16t/ac   In  short  this  means  we   can  either  increase  the   yield  on  80%  of  the  field   with  Precision  ag   technology,  or  reduce   inputs  accordingly.    
  27. 27. What  we  can  do  tomorrow,  the  applicaCons…   Tech  support  –  within  Alberta  we  have  an  incredible  opportunity    Unmanned  Aircraq,  real  data,  real  Cme,  every  day,  real  recipe’s  real  ROI  in  Alberta    Integrated  data  hub,  replicable  agricultural  and  demographic  W2E  powered    Smart  Energy  Grid,  ship  data,  not  power  -­‐  Distributed    Link  the  public  with  their  food,  real  Cme,  real  seamless    BE  a  Real  sustainable  smart  system,  closed  biosphere  aware  –  We  are  feeding  the  world  
  28. 28. ICT  link   Precision  AG   Cloud-­‐Enabled  Space  Weather  Modeling   and  Data  AssimilaCon  Plarorm  Water  and  Environmental  Hub   GreenStar  Network   AB  ARD  open  data   Center  network  $ Data   management   er   Hub   OpCc  Fib
  29. 29. Yes  I  agree,  Change   happens.  Another  reason   Tweet:     the  stone  age  ended  was   "The  stone  age  didnt   because  humans  end  because  we  ran  out   discovered  farming…     of  stone."  Change   let  us  not  forget…     happens  ready  or  not   Thanks!  
  30. 30. The  OPPORTUNITY   Collaboraon  with  all  the  right  people     are  in  this  room  to  champion  the     Alberta  /  Canada  Advantage,  be  a  part  of  it    the  technology  exper9se  and  cyber  infrastructure  presence    The  Value-­‐add  and  true  example  of  technology  WOW    The  Rural  Development  and  distributed  wealth  advocate    The  farmer  with  a  need,  that  recognizes  the  technology  can  help  us  do   be^er,  and  the  technology  people  that  recognize  we  can  help  them  to   achieve  their  goals  with  a  real  applica9on  today  that  helps  build  and   create  a  network  required  for  tomorrow,  with  sustainable  ROI  all  the   way  through!    Fantas9c  R&D  presence  –  AB  innovates,  the  refreshed  and  inspired  new   provincial  leadership,  the  universi9es  and  colleges,  the  brilliant  youth   Together  Let’s  make  it  happen!  
  31. 31. Why  make  this  happen?   Grow, Live, Be the Change