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Press Coverage / April 13, 2006

New service (AgMpower) allows farmers to compare practices online

Source: Western Producer, by Adrian Ewins, Saskatoon newsroom

An agricultural consultant based in Saskatoon, has come up with a new twist on providing farm management advice. The Internet-based system, called AgMpower, will enable farmers to compare their management practices, seeding plans, costs and returns against other producers from across Western Canada and adjust their businesses accordingly.

Leo Kosokowsky, who has been developing the system for the last 18 months, calls it benchmarking, and says it provides a new way for grain and oilseed farmers to improve their chances for success.

Farmers can already obtain software to help them in record-keeping, crop planning and tracking income, expenses, inventory and assets.

But by putting together information gathered from a large number of growers from across the Prairies, AgMpower will provide farmers with the opportunity to assess how well they're doing relative to other producers and how they could do better.

"Even the best managers can improve their operations by benchmarking," Kosokowsky said.

By using the site, farmers can adjust their seeding intentions, price projections and expense assumptions, calculate their cost of production for each grain, determine their break-even prices and improve their marketing.

Each subscriber's individual information will remain confidential, but the aggregate information will be made available to participants, who will in turn make their information available to the system.

Farmers can subscribe to the program for a low annual fee, which Kosokowsky hopes will encourage a significant sign-up in the next few months.

"I priced this as low as I could to try to attract as many people as possible," he said. "I'd rather have 1,000 people at a lower price each than 100 at a very high price."

The more people who sign up and the more information that is gathered and aggregated, the more valuable the benchmarking will be.

The annual fee will only kick in once there are enough people in a given geographic area to achieve useful comparative numbers.

Farmers can find the AgMpower website at


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