GFM Network News


While the DOT autonomous platform (shown here at a recent seeding demonstration at the Olds College Smart Farm) is scaled for large farms, Monarch’s fully electric, driver-optional tractor (shown below) is designed for small operations, such as vineyards and orchards. But both represent important milestones in the evolution of farm equipment, say experts.

DOT earns passing grades at college, but not straight A’s

Fuel and labour are issues but the driverless implement shows plenty of potential in Olds College trials

Reading Time: 4 minutes Is the DOT ready for a full-time job on your operation? It might be too early to say, but researchers know the self-propelled, driverless tractor-minus-the-tractor finishes what it starts. “Every mission we started with DOT we were able to finish with DOT,” said Joy Agnew with Olds College. “There was never a catastrophic failure or […] Read more

Although overlap can be greatly reduced with sectional control, it can’t be completely eliminated as was shown in trials conducted last year for Alberta Pulse Growers. The study also found there was less overlap of larger seeds (such as peas on left) versus smaller ones (like canola on right).

Sectional control minimizes, but doesn’t eliminate overlap

The theoretical savings are great but overlap still happens, and size of both seed and sections matters

Reading Time: 4 minutes Unless you farm some magical piece of land where there are no stone piles, hills, water bodies or other obstacles to get around, you will always have some overlap. That extra seed or fertilizer can cost you big bucks over time — which is why stories about sectional control technology often focus on the potential […] Read more


GRO tested out the Zurn 150 harvester in the fall of 2020.

GRO to retire 26-year-old combine

Reading Time: < 1 minute Gateway Research Organization can now retire its 26-year-old plot-sized combine after receiving $293,000 from the Western Grains Research Foundation for the purchase of a new one. “The new combine will not only improve our efficiency in research data collection but will also be a step up for employee safety standards,” said Sandeep Nain, general manager […] Read more

Even in the best of circumstances, moving farm equipment on highways carries risks.

Be seen and be safe when moving farm equipment on roads

Do everything you can to be visible, and consider taking extra measures, says expert

Reading Time: 3 minutes Think there’s no way a massive piece of farm machinery travelling down a highway can be completely unseen? Consider this story. On the morning of Jan. 4 of this year, a 72-year-old man died when a semi-trailer hit the tractor he was driving on a two-lane highway in southern Manitoba. The driver of the semi […] Read more


Cervus to fold two dealerships into one

Reading Time: < 1 minute Cervus Equipment is building a new facility near Penhold that will combine operations from its Red Deer and Olds John Deere dealership locations. The new 44,000-square-foot facility at the junction of Highway 2 and Highway 42 is expected to open in early 2022. Travel charges for field service technicians will be charged at the same […] Read more

A growing number of farmers are frustrated by not having access to diagnostic tools when an error code flashes on the monitor on a combine.

Do farmers have the right to repair their own equipment?

Interest groups debate the ‘right to repair’ versus ‘right to modify’ with producers stuck in the middle

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s a story that’s becoming more and more common. You’re smack dab in the middle of harvest and an error code appears on your combine’s monitor. A call to the dealership results in a long wait for a technician to come out, with anxiety rising with every passing hour because priceless harvesting time is being […] Read more


Remote diagnostics blocked by poor internet on farms

Reading Time: < 1 minute Waiting for a dealership tech or mechanic to come to your farm to fix a problem is frustrating for farmers — but also for those who work on equipment. As with home computers or computer-controlled industrial machines, technicians can remotely access the onboard computers on farm equipment. But only if there’s broadband internet. “So on […] Read more

Connectivity ‘grey’ under new trade agreement

Reading Time: < 1 minute Some producers are concerned that a farm equipment industry push against modification may spell the end of connectivity — in other words, the ability of third-party manufacturers to produce tools which adapt farm vehicles for specialized uses. An example would be a combine header specifically designed for pulse crops. But abolishing connectivity is not on […] 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. Olds College

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

Reading Time: 5 minutes 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

Despite many technological advancements, farmers can still perform the vast majority of repairs on their equipment.

Opinion: There’s a big difference between ‘right to repair’ and ‘right to modify’

Farmers should absolutely be able to repair their equipment but modifying programming leads to a host of problems

Reading Time: 3 minutes The relationship between equipment dealers, manufacturers and farmers is close knit. Equipment manufacturers and dealers have a vested interest for our customers to be prosperous. We know that when farmers are successful, dealers and our communities are successful. That is why at this time it would be unwise for a provincial government to disrupt the […] Read more