GFM Network News


A new consortium has been given nearly $50 million in federal funding to find ways to bring cutting-edge technology to Canadian farms. Among the tech being focused on is self-driving equipment (pictured is DOT Technology’s autonomous platform), robotics, artificial intelligence, data analytic, hyperspectral imaging, traceability systems, and “smart farms.”

Feds back $108-million push to automate farming

A consortium of groups, including three from Alberta, want to usher in a new era of advanced ag technology

It may not seem a priority given the weather and trade challenges farmers are facing — but now is the time to launch a new era of smart farms, AI, and robotics, say backers of a new $108-million tech fund. Ottawa is giving $49.5 million to the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN), and […] Read more

Pioneer Acres heritage event celebrates 50 years

There will be more than a few gangs of draft horses when Pioneer Acres puts on its 50th Anniversary Show and Celebration. The volunteer-driven organization is dedicated to preserving Alberta’s farm heritage. It has more than a dozen buildings filled with exhibits and artifacts from the pioneering era on its 50-acre site, one kilometre north […] Read more


Farmers can make the most out of their early-season drone use by practising now, says Markus Weber, owner of LandView Drones.

Now is the right time to brush up on your drone pilot skills

As of June 1, anyone flying a drone over 250 grams will need a pilot’s certificate — including recreational users

The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and there’s soon to be a buzz in the air — no, not the sweet sound of bees pollinating your crops, but drones. And like pollinators, drones do their best work during the spring. “Your drone isn’t just for taking pictures for your Twitter feed. It gives […] Read more

The coming wave of autonomous farm equipment — such as this seeding rig mounted on a DOT Technology “power platform” — is partly being driven by the severe and growing labour shortage on farms.

Ag tech tackles the next frontier — the people shortage on farms

The labour shortage has gone from problem to crisis — and that’s prompting a new tech revolution

Advances in farm equipment over the past 15 years have focused on one thing — allowing farmers to do more with less. Bigger equipment to cut the time when seeding and harvesting. GPS to minimize overlap. Precision tech to make every seed and input count. No till to capture snow and retain moisture (with less […] Read more


“The manufacturers in Canada have a very strong reputation globally for providing very high-quality implements and equipment.” – Leah Olson

Canada’s short line equipment makers on the cutting edge

These smaller manufacturers exported $1.8 billion of equipment and implements last year

If you’re frustrated that the big names in equipment manufacturing aren’t rolling out autonomous systems quickly enough, you may want to look a little closer to home. “With the clock ticking on when we’ll see autonomous farming become a commercial reality, my hope is that we’ll see Canadian manufacturers lead the way there,” said Leah […] Read more

VIDEO: You have to seed it to believe it

Ag in Motion 2018: Air seeders put to the test in live field demos

If you attended Ag in Motion last month, hopefully you made your way over to the field demonstration area where there was no shortage of activity. Here, sprayers were compared side-by-side in the Ride & Drive, land-levellers churned out arable land from pasture, and as you’ll see in this video, a variety of air seeders […] Read more


If you dream of getting new iron for this year’s harvest, you need to plan ahead — dealers no longer 
have a big surplus of equipment on their lots.

Iron backlog has come and gone

It’s taken a few years, but dealers have finally whittled down high inventories of equipment

Two years ago, you couldn’t drive past an equipment dealership without noticing the rows upon rows of machines — carry-over of anticipated demand that never came. “In 2013 and 2014, everybody was firing on all cylinders,” said Leah Olson, president of the Agricultural Manufacturers of Canada. “With our record harvests, there was a fundamental shift […] Read more

Drones certainly take stunning pictures – like this one from a wheat harvest – but Bruce Farms has moved beyond the “fun factor” and learned how to make money off the unmanned aerial devices, says Mike Barrett.

Still just taking pretty pictures? Drones could be making you money

It’s taken a while but more and more producers are 
discovering ways to boost their profits with drones

Mike Barrett was trying to find a practical use for a pricey toy when he decided to fly his drone over his feedlot to count his cattle. That was when his purchase paid off. “With the average gain of the cattle, we easily paid for the drone in the first year that we counted that […] Read more


Many months pass from seed year to seed year. Do you have a checklist to prepare your equipment and employees before they take to the field?

Things go better with standard operating procedures

All sorts of companies have so-called SOPs — because they save time and grief, and empower employees

Pilots complete checklists before every flight, even when flying the same plane several times a week. Farm equipment operators, on the other hand, often rely on their memory from 11 months ago when they start up the air drill or other equipment at the beginning of a new season. Some farm owners and managers, however, […] Read more

Sophisticated computer programs, GPS tracking, and matching rations to cattle’s growth stage virtually eliminates waste, says UFA, distributor of a fully automated feed system.

Fully automated feeding — the rise of the machines

Technology that handles everything from feed formulation to delivering it to cattle is becoming ubiquitous

Ken Van Raay remembers how things used to be at his 30,000-head feedlot. It required a lot more co-ordination, that’s for sure. In his previous system, Van Raay dealt with his local feed mill on the phone; spent more time on the road; managed pelleting, storage, blending and monitoring micro-ingredient levels in bins; and generally […] Read more