GFM Network News


Olds College’s Smart Farm has been working with Telus and other tech providers to create networks for its extensive array of technologies. The school is now partnering with the telco’s newly created ag unit.

Smart Farm partners with Telus Agriculture

Olds College has struck a $1-million partnership with Telus Agriculture that will see the school’s Smart Farm serve as a “living lab to conduct applied research and test the real-world application of new technology in a commercial-scale agriculture setting.” This includes evaluating technology such as internet-connected weather stations and field sensors in live conditions. Telus […] Read more

It’s still years away but Olds College officials say they can see a day when linking their self-driving DOT power platform to sensors and algorithms will take farming to an entirely new level.

Go grab a coffee, the robots have got this

Future of Farming: Hook sensors, cameras, algorithms, and self-driving machines together, and farming becomes a new ball game

Just picture it: You’ve been watching your crop get rained on all week from your kitchen window, and it’s about time to do some crop scouting to see if you need to spray. But your farm is way ahead of you. Soil sensors have been monitoring moisture levels, and they’ve already called for reinforcements. A […] Read more


Fall fertilizer prices offer more good news for Prairie growers

Prices for urea, phosphate and anhydrous ammonia are all at the lower end of their normal range

Prices for urea, phosphate and anhydrous ammonia are all at the lower end of their normal range

Fertilizer prices have seen some ups and downs over the past six months, but the situation heading into winter looks favourable. “When we look at the overall input markets so far in 2020, we see that they’ve kind of eased up. For producers right now, that’s a pretty good spot to be in,” said Craig […] Read more

The focus of Old College’s new ‘techgronomy’ diploma program is making practical use of precision ag technology, says James Benkie (left), pictured with college staff Mytayla Miller and Bill Bruce examining field sensors.

Forget the app, there’ll soon be a college grad for that

‘Techgronomy’ diploma program aims to train experts able to put the promise of precision ag into practice

For many, the term ‘precision agriculture’ is becoming a source of irritation — a buzzword that often seems more about jargon than things you can use on the farm today. Viewed from that angle, the title of Olds College’s new diploma program — Precision Agriculture – Techgronomy — may seem like more of the same. […] Read more


A flag is planted at each corner of each treatment in the Plot2Farm program so results can be accurately measured.

On-farm research: Making it pay can be a tricky proposition

Plot2Farm project aims to show that a formal research protocol, and agronomic support, delivers results

Farmers are no strangers to on-farm research, but a new program aims to make these field-scale trials easier — and more profitable. “I think it boils down to dollars and cents,” said Gordon Ellis, a farmer from the Olds area who participated in the Plot2Farm program this year. “Everybody farms to make a living and […] Read more

More and more, farmers are using drones in their farm operations. But are they getting the most bang for their buck to assist them with cropping decisions?

Remote sensing: A few flyovers isn’t nearly enough

It takes years of data (and boots on the ground) to really understand what’s happening in a field


So you’ve bought yourself a drone and a spiffy new multispectral camera. Sounds fun. But what now? It’s true that images from camera-equipped drones can offer a moment-in-time snapshot of yield or emergence. But what if you wanted to use remote sensing for something a little more robust, such as measuring nutrient variability in your […] Read more


Attendees at Olds College’s AgSmart 2019 event got to see new technology, including the autonomous DOT Power Platform, in action. Experts say the pandemic will speed up adoption of self-driving equipment as well as behind-the-scenes tech, such as distributed ledger technology.

Pandemic speeding up adoption of technology

Online ordering and virtual contracts commonplace, traceability and autonomous machines getting new push

Like it or not, the farm of the future will run on technology — and that future has become ever closer because of COVID-19. “It’s been a pretty big disruption for a lot of businesses,” said Wes Anderson, senior fertility specialist at CropPro Consulting. “It has forced a lot of our clients to use technology […] Read more

Farming Smarter’s field day in early July had an unusual aspect — attendees — who heard from several speakers, including researcher Lewis Baarda.

Forget the silver bullet, bring out the arsenal against kochia

Study using multiple methods to control one of the most dangerous weeds on the Prairies

If it’s a one-on-one battle, put your money on kochia. The pernicious weed is not only a prolific seed producer, thrives in harsh conditions, and spreads its progeny far and wide, it’s also a master when it comes to developing resistance to herbicides. So producers are urged to use a variety of ‘best management practices’ […] Read more


Better establishment and uniform staging helped this canola seeded by a precision planter on 12-inch rows (on an irrigated plot) achieve a much higher yield than its air-seeded cousin in a Farming Smarter small-plot study.

Precision planting produces results — but doesn’t come cheap

Small-plot study finds 15 per cent yield bump, but cost and fertilization are issues with precision planter

New research shows that tightening up row spacing when seeding canola with precision planters can make a big yield difference — up to 15 per cent more, in fact — compared to conventional air drills. That’s a key finding from a four-year small-plot study by Farming Smarter researchers after adjusting a precision vacuum planter to […] Read more