Utilizing tips, trends, and tech to power your next decade of growth

By ATB Financial 3 August 2023 2 min read

The world is constantly changing. For Alberta’s agricultural producers, it’s important to have short-term business plans that help to navigate risks, and long-term plans that keep an operation running when it’s time to retire. 

We asked members of the ATB Agriculture Team for tips that will be key for farmers and ranchers preparing for the next ten years.

Keeping pace with technology

Rural broadband connectivity is proving increasingly valuable to farmers and ranchers. Where coverage exists, operations have been able to capture substantial data from sensors and equipment that can be centralized by a farm management platform.

“On-farm weather stations can support predictive models for crop or ranch operation, decision support, and planning decisions for the next year,” according to Jon Neutens, Head of Agriculture, ATB Business Banking.

By better understanding the future, operations can better prepare for the future. Anton Bellot, Director of Agribusiness & Agri-food, points to soil age as another area that offers valuable insights.

“Not only does that change from crop year to crop year, it also changes month to month, as we deal with a more volatile climate,” Bellot says. 

To support and promote agritech innovation within the province, ATB has partnered with agrifood innovation and investment platform SVG Ventures | THRIVE, and with Olds College on both the AgSmart educational expo and the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network.

Video: Anton Bellot, Director of Agribusiness & Agri-food shares tips on powering your operation for the short- and long-term.

The importance of a business plan

Pre-planning for the future of a farm or ranch includes keeping a current business plan. ATB has industry expertise that can help to adapt business plans at every stage of an agricultural operation.

“Financial institutions need to see your business plan. Because we're not just bankers,” Bellot explains. “We are partners from pre-farm to seeding, and all the way to harvest. Those are critical moments and we want to provide not only the right advice, but the right advice at the right time.” 

Neutens suggests that business plans should aim to evolve an agricultural operation beyond the aspirations of current owners, and anticipate the needs of future generations. 

“A good plan should not just take the next growing season into account, but also your longer term objectives—which should include succession. This way, you will make more strategic decisions about many aspects of your operation that include land management and technology adoption, just to name a couple of key areas.”

ATB can assist with developing a forward-looking financial plan that can reach those multigenerational goals, in addition to realizing near-term opportunities and mitigating all types of risk.

Expert advice at every stage of growth

ATB’s expert advice, financial services and strategic insights can help agribusinesses succeed during the next 10 years—whether owners are just getting started, expanding locally, crossing borders, or considering an exit. 

Staying current with trends and innovation is important to ATB, because it’s important to agribusiness customers. 

“We need to make sure that we're ahead of the curve, so not only can we be proactive for our current customers, but we can deliver the right advice at the right time,” says Bellot. “Whether it's for succession planning, to expand the farm, or to get into farm processing, we’ll be here to power possibility.”

We get agriculture.

When you’re running a farm or ranch, you’re always looking for the next opportunity for growth. We can help you make it a success.

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