An enthusiastic leader, Cory Willness, the CEO and Co-founder of Croptimistic Technology, best known for their product SWAT MAPS, pursued his agronomy degree in 1996 at the University of Saskatchewan. Cory spent eight of his early years as an agronomist in agriculture retail. He then started a consulting company called CropPro Consulting in 2003, which he is proud to say, is still operating today. This gave him the experience and courage he needed to open Croptimistic often referred to as SWAT MAPS, an AgTech (agriculture technology) company in 2018 with his wife Shannon (Founder) and Derek Massey (Founder and CTO).
About SWAT MAPS
“Unlock Your Soil Potential with SWAT MAPS”
SWAT MAPS (Soil, Water, And Topography) is now the world’s most well-known and respected brand of high-resolution soil maps. They are the pillar of a successful variable-rate fertilizer and seed program used by farmers to maximize their profitability and environmental sustainability. Croptimistic has now evolved so much that there is a SWAT ECOSYSTEM which is a collection of hardware, software, training, and support that enables service providers and farmers to simply and easily execute the service at the ground level.
Cory’s experience and knowledge of farming has allowed the creation of this SWAT ECOSYSTEM. He is adamant many improvements can be made to traditional ways of farming and most of these are enabled by developing technology today. Croptimistic’s Global Partner Network is proud to have partnered with service providers around the world to bring the SWAT MAPS to farmers all across the globe.
Croptimistic is supported by a growing team of professionals who have dedicated their careers to developing the best soil mapping software and hardware in the world.
Unleashing the steps of the SWAT ECOSYSTEM
- The Foundation
The foundation is a crucial part of the SWAT ECOSYSTEM. It offers education, support, and software needed to become a SWAT CERTIFIED service provider. The foundation ensures every step of the SWAT ECOSYSTEM works seamlessly and provides the farmers with the same experience.
- Soil Potential
Everything starts in the soil. By becoming a SWAT MAPS service provider, the company will help execute the process to help the farmers unlock their soil potential today.
- Yield Potential
Crop variability is influenced by the stable soil properties captured by a SWAT MAP, the Soil Potential portion of the process must be completed before the yield potential process can begin.
Becoming a SWAT MAPS service provider means offering the farmers the best variable rate field mapping system on the market. The company’s team of experts will provide the tools needed to succeed, every step of the way.
AgTech Startups marking their Presence
The AgTech space has received considerable attention in recent years from investors and entrepreneurs. However, in Cory’s opinion, less than 10% of startups have a chance of surviving. It is a very complex space, most single-point products or features will have incredibly complicated integration issues. There are also dozens of people working in the same space and it is very competitive. Startups are relatively new to farmers and agronomists so it is not top of mind. “Building something of value is of the upmost importance to me.”
Experiencing Transformation in the AgTech Industry
Automation, robotics, machine control, artificial intelligence, and satellites are all transformational technologies. However, the less exciting part – low cost, low risk, better process, solid structure, ease of workflow, consistency, and execution are all required to implement any of these innovations.
A Cut-Throat Viewpoint on AgTech Trends
Cory states that emerging trends don’t feel like trends when one lives in them every day. Every year there is some new buzzword. Five years ago it was “big data” and that has died a quick death. Now it is “carbon” and “regenerative agriculture”. Cory feels trends are mostly buzzwords until someone executes them commercially and it is operational.
A Take on the COVID-19 Scenario
Cory states, “I can’t speak for others but it hurt international growth opportunities. There are only so many virtual meetings we can do when our products are used in fields and we need to do a demo with a client. Thankfully, we were working fully remote before covid so our business was not affected on a large scale”
The biggest challenge is building an ecosystem of products that work and that farmers and agronomists love. When tackling complex issues with many different touch points it is hard to stay focused on what can be built that everyone can use.
Communication and documentation has improved greatly. The communication systems we have put in place over the years allows is to know exactly what is happening at all times and knowing that high-tech plans and applications are being executed is excellent for the peace of mind.
Times of Triumph
SWAT MAPS has won many recognizable awards such as the best new product at Manitoba Ag Days, the Agrology Excellence Award by the Saskatchewan Institute of Agrologists, and the Innovations Award at Ag In Motion.
Standing Tall amongst All
The team at SWAP MAPS just keeps working ahead with the strategy the staff, partners, and farmers believe are needed to execute the best precision AgTech-based program possible. execute the process to help the farmers unlock their soil potential today. feels trends are mostly buzzwords until someone executes them commercially and it is operational.
Climbing the Ladder of Success
SWAT MAPS will be the number 1 service provider of variable-rate technology in Canada and will have a strong, growing presence as a respected leader in USA and Australia. As an innovative AgTech company, SWAP MAPS aims to be the world’s most recognized and respected brand of soil mapping-based technology.