This is My Story: Daniel deMoissac, Climate Business Manager
March 15, 2019
Daniel deMoissac is very comfortable in front of a room full of people, and as the Climate Business Manager for Eastern Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes who routinely travels the region to educate producers on the Climate FieldView™ platform, it makes sense. Daniel isn’t afraid to roll up his sleeves and dive into the work, a trait he honed as a second-degree Taekwondo black belt. His experience in the martial art, as well as the Taekwondo school he runs in Limoges, Ontario, has taught him the benefit of dedication and hard work, something he transfers into his work life: “if you get in there and get your hands dirty, there’s payback at the end. It’s very rewarding.”
Daniel grew up in the Francophone farming community of St. Adolphe, Manitoba. He and his brother spoke French as children and went to school in Île-des-Chênes, Manitoba, learning English in Grade 3. His mother and father both come from large families and were involved in farming – his mother having grown up on a farm and his father having worked for the Saskatchewan Wheat Pool. So, while he lived in town, he was still a “country boy.”
He can remember taking a trip to visit his mother’s family in Alberta, waking up from a long drive to the sight of a combine and an old grain car on the family farm. “I was totally fascinated,” he said, describing the awe he felt seeing this massive machinery. From that point on he was hooked on the farming lifestyle.
Daniel moved to Winnipeg to attend university and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of Manitoba, majoring in marketing and management information systems. While he lost his French during those years in university, it was a four-month internship in France that gave him the immersion he needed to pick it up again. Since his first job as a grain trader in Boucherville, Quebec, Daniel continues to use both languages, interchangeably, both at home and at work.
After seventeen years in the grain industry, Daniel took an opportunity with Monsanto, now Bayer, in February of 2017. He first heard of FieldView™ when working with an agronomist who showed him the platform. Daniel could see the value of FieldView’s application to farming, particularly as someone with a background in both technology and marketing. “It really struck me as a great system,” he said, and a great fit for him professionally.
Soon after, he began working at The Climate Corporation, now a division of Bayer, with FieldView, where he works to develop a network of retailers and support systems for the platform across eastern Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes. Part of his responsibility – and a project he has spearheaded – is ensuring that this support is bilingual for French-speaking producers in Quebec. Initially, Daniel was the only French-speaking person available in all of Eastern Canada. However, the business is working to bolster their French support, which includes a bilingual contact in St. Louis so that Daniel can focus his efforts on expanding the network.
Daniel’s day-to-day revolves around training – not only training dealers or farmers, but also hosting seminars for anywhere from five to fifty vendors, producers, and dealers.
Daniel prefers to skip the dry PowerPoint presentations in favour of real-time, hands-on instruction and demonstration. He encourages people to ask questions and better understand the platform and how it would work for them. He customizes each presentation for his audience, and he will often hand over his iPad® to a producer in the crowd and walk them through the process of setting up the app for their farming operation. This way others can see how easily it can be integrated into their own farm business.
Daniel remembers one farmer from eastern Ontario who was using a Precision Planting 20/20® SeedSense monitor on his corn planter. While he was planting the field, he decided to view some of the FieldView reports – in particular, the downforce field report. Daniel explained what happened next: “In the report, he sorted by low downforce, and he realized rows 1, 2, 15, and 16 had lower numbers than the rest of the planter, so he thought ‘well that’s strange, that doesn’t make any sense’. He looked out the windows on both sides and realized that the wing tips were actually starting to bounce, and realized he was going a little bit too fast. Just from that simple report, he backed off a half-mile an hour and those wing tips settled back down, and he was able to save bushels per acre just by that small correction.”
It's in fact some of the simplest features of the platform that Daniel finds the most useful, like precipitation and field health imagery. While you can use these features to determine if your fields are workable, you can also use them to ensure you’re getting the most yield from your field. Daniel described one producer in his area who was getting ready to go out and combine his soybeans. Before he could head out, his wife stopped him – she had taken a look at the field health imagery and noticed there was still some green matter on the field, potentially meaning the crops weren’t 100 percent mature.
“When they drove by, the fields looked great, but it was such a big field that a few spots in the middle were not quite mature enough,” Daniel explained. Based on that one map image, they made the decision to wait a day before combining the field, and from that decision they increased the quality of their grain and reduced drying costs. It’s simple decisions like this, Daniel argues, that makes the platform invaluable.
These kinds of resources will not only increase producers’ yields and grain quality, but also increase their overall efficiency and output. “Farmers are very careful about the environment,” Daniel explained, “they don’t want to use extra product, and it also costs them when they do so.” Using the features of FieldView allows producers to see the whole field and address specific areas as required. “FieldView will help farmers to further become environmental stewards by being efficient with their products.”
Daniel hopes to see the continuation of automation and automatic decision-making in the field as digital agriculture grows in the future. In the meantime, he is working hard to expand FieldView further east and north and to continue to increase French and multilingual support for customers. His driven and ambitious team are excited about the future of farming, he says, noting, “I’m lucky in that I have such a positive and supportive work environment.”
The positive work environment provided by Climate FieldView, its simple and efficient platform, along with Daniel’s dogged drive and willingness to get his hands dirty will no doubt help to usher in the efficiency and ingenuity of the future of farming.