GFM Network News


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

The focus of Old College’s new ‘techgronomy’ diploma program is making practical use of precision ag technology, says James Benkie (left), pictured with college staff Mytayla Miller and Bill Bruce examining field sensors.

Forget the app, there’ll soon be a college grad for that

‘Techgronomy’ diploma program aims to train experts able to put the promise of precision ag into practice

Reading Time: 4 minutes For many, the term ‘precision agriculture’ is becoming a source of irritation — a buzzword that often seems more about jargon than things you can use on the farm today. Viewed from that angle, the title of Olds College’s new diploma program — Precision Agriculture – Techgronomy — may seem like more of the same. […] Read more


More and more, farmers are using drones in their farm operations. But are they getting the most bang for their buck to assist them with cropping decisions?

Remote sensing: A few flyovers isn’t nearly enough

It takes years of data (and boots on the ground) to really understand what’s happening in a field


Reading Time: 3 minutes So you’ve bought yourself a drone and a spiffy new multispectral camera. Sounds fun. But what now? It’s true that images from camera-equipped drones can offer a moment-in-time snapshot of yield or emergence. But what if you wanted to use remote sensing for something a little more robust, such as measuring nutrient variability in your […] Read more

(TopconPositioning.com)

Brandt buys GeoShack’s Ontario business

Deal makes equipment firm the exclusive Topcon dealer for Canada

Farm, forestry and construction equipment maker Brandt is about to buy itself a lock on the market for Topcon GPS equipment in Canada. The Regina-based Brandt Group announced Wednesday it has reached a deal to buy the assets of GeoShack Canada Co. and the Canadian assets of Inteq Distributors, both owned by Dallas-based Ultara Holdings. […] Read more


The vast majority of irrigators have adopted precision ag technology and more will follow as costs fall, says University of Lethbridge economist Lorraine Nicol.

Precision agriculture means less is more for irrigators

Technology has boosted yields while cutting both water use and inputs, says University of Lethbridge survey

Reading Time: 3 minutes Very few studies have examined precision agriculture in Canada, but a new one from University of Lethbridge researchers has put some numbers on the benefits. And they’re big — both in terms of reducing inputs and in boosting yields. Last fall, economists Lorraine Nicol and Chris Nicol surveyed irrigators in the Taber Irrigation District and […] Read more

There’s no shortage of data on today’s farms but the most important number — profit per acre — is not easy to determine.

The search for a ‘win-win’ solution to unprofitable acres

Precision agriculture meets precision conservation in ongoing profitability mapping research

Reading Time: 5 minutes Farming and farmland conservation sometimes seem at odds with each other — a win for one is seen as a loss for the other. After all, taking land out of production for conservation purposes is seen as a loss of productive farmland, while the ecological community sometimes views intensive ag production as a threat to […] 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

Reading Time: 7 minutes 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



You can find an old red barn on the grounds of Olds College, but the school is planning to be a leader in the cutting-edge world of ‘smart agriculture.’

Olds College to become a hub for ‘smart agriculture’

A new $32-million institute is being created to put the college on the bleeding edge of high-tech agriculture

Reading Time: 3 minutes You’ve heard about precision agriculture. Now get ready for what leading educators and thinkers are calling the next step beyond precision ag — smart agriculture. Smart agriculture, as it is defined today, is the optimization of technology and science for the efficient use of land and water for both economic and environmental sustainability. If it […] Read more

How the new Werklund Institute will work

The plan includes a business incubator, ‘thought leader,’ mentorship program, and a new approach to teaching

Reading Time: 2 minutes The Werklund Agriculture Institute is currently in its pilot stages and expected to start up in 2019. It will feature four key components: Werklund Growth Centre: a hub for companies, entrepreneurs, investors and students to access college land and facilities for development, scaling, and demonstration of smart agriculture technologies, products, and services. This is something […] Read more