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 Agriculture, a recently launched division of the telco and info tech giant, will also be testing its 5G network at the Smart Farm, which has grown to 2,800 acres since its launch in 2018. The operation incorporates a host of cutting-edge tech, including autonomous equipment, internet-linked sensors, satellite imagery, and extensive data collection used to create tools such as variable-rate prescription mapping.
One of the goals of the collaboration is to help “farmers and producers optimize operations and profits and access more accurate, timely data so they can make more informed decisions,” the college said in a news release.
“The Smart Farm helps us understand the realities and challenges that farmers are facing and how technology can optimize food production and increase yields,” said Chris Terris, vice-president of global strategy with Telus Agriculture.