Western Sales (1986) Ltd.
John Deere dealership
Primary market: Western Saskatchewan, six outlets
Number of employees: 105
President: Grant McGrath
Growing the business
While Canada’s unemployment rate has been relatively high during the past few years, many farmers continue to have a hard time recruiting new workers. According to Grant McGrath, that trend is good news for Western Sales Ltd., a John Deere farm equipment dealership.
“We have a short growing season here in Saskatchewan, and when crops are ready to be harvested, farmers have to get them in quickly. So when labour is scarce, people tend to be more willing to invest in new equipment,” explains McGrath, the company’s president. “We have seen many farmers upgrade their existing machinery during recent years. It’s one of the main reasons for our success.”
Through its six-dealer network in western Saskatchewan, Western Sales sells and leases a range of combines, air drills, small tractors, bailers and other machinery to family canola, durum wheat, lentil farms. High commodity prices have improved the performance of many industry players. However the marketing of new technologies, such as GPS guided machinery, automated steering and “smart farming,” practices, have also boosted the company’s performance.
Smart farming techniques have also helped farmers reduce their environmental footprints explains McGrath. “Improved machinery guidance systems, means that “overlap” during harvesting and other farming operations, is kept to a minimum and this reduces carbon emissions,” says McGrath. “And better measuring of crop yields in various parts of a given field, helps farmers minimize fertilizer use. This not only saves them money, it helps the environment too.”
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