Smart ag research program receives $5.1 million in funding

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Olds College’s Smart Farm has received $5.1 million in federal and industry funding for its applied research program.

The funds will be used for a series of “industry-driven, college-led” projects to develop, evaluate and demonstrate smart ag technology.

“Our goal is to provide beta testing research that will support small to medium enterprises and help technology developers commercialize products that producers will use and gain value from,” said Joy Agnew, the college’s vice-president of applied research.

The first projects under the program are already underway, including a field-scale evaluation of an optical spot spray technology. It will look at factors such as travel velocity, stubble conditions, and spray setting on chemical use reduction, spray efficacy, and crop yield over several growing seasons.

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada has contributed $2 million, and the non-profit Canada Foundation for Innovation has contributed $946,000, with the remaining cash and in-kind contributions coming from eight industry partners.

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