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Telus buys Farm At Hand

Vancouver farm management software development firm Farm At Hand has become an arm of one of the Big Five in Canada’s communication services sector.

Farm At Hand, which makes the cloud-based Crop Planner software suite for farmers and the Farm At Hand Agronomy suite for agronomists, announced Tuesday it has been wholly acquired by Telus for an undisclosed sum.

Few specifics of the deal were available last week, though Farm At Hand on Tuesday described it as “a natural fit” toward its goal to “simplify complicated tools to be user-friendly and match how you plan, work and keep track of what’s happening on your farm.”

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Working with Telus, it said, will further that goal “by making Farm At Hand the hub that links together leading-edge software and IoT devices.”

IoT, or Internet of Things, refers to connected physical devices, such as farm equipment and crop monitoring systems, sharing data over networks without human involvement.

Farm At Hand recently announced it would work with tech firm Agrimatics to connect that company’s Libra Cart grain cart display and data management system with Farm At Hand account, and in May it announced integration with Deere’s MyJohnDeere system.

Through the Telus deal, Farm At Hand said Tuesday, it will be “better able to alert you to key changes, and offer advanced tools and information — a way of keeping track of everything in one central platform.”

Both companies emphasized last week that nothing will change immediately in Farm At Hand’s operations.

A Telus spokesperson said the Vancouver-based telecom firm “will continue Farm At Hand’s proven commitment to helping farmers best manage their farms, adding new features and services in the future.”

Farm At Hand, on its website, said its customers will “still have access to the tools you rely on,” adding “one of the things that we love about Telus is their approach to data transparency and privacy. They too believe farmers should own their information and be empowered to choose who they share it with.”

Asked whether Farm At Hand’s operations will directly connect to Telus’ in the future, the Telus representative said “we’re always looking at emerging areas where we can leverage data and technology to spur innovation, help organizations be more productive and improve the lives of Canadians.”

Telus — which provides consumer and business phone, cellular, broadband and cable service across Canada — said it “has long partnered with farmers to help connect, track and modernize farms and welcoming Farm at Hand to the Telus family will further that effort.”

Farm At Hand was founded in 2012 in Saskatchewan and relocated its operations to Vancouver the following year. In 2015 it became an arm of Winnipeg-based grain marketing consultancy FarmLink Marketing Solutions; co-founders Kim Keller and Himanshu Singh left the company the following year. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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