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.

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

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

A goal for rural internet speeds set several years ago is 10 times faster than previously set goals, but the goalposts that define high speed are always moving.

Better rural broadband internet is coming — eventually

Ottawa is pledging $2 billion for fast rural internet, but how that money gets spent is the key question

Ottawa’s pledge to spend $2 billion to bring decent broadband service to rural and remote areas is welcome news, but the devil will be in the details, say officials in Alberta. “I’m encouraged to see the funding, but the full delivery of it is the next question — how will we be able to make […] 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


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

Attendees at Olds College’s AgSmart 2019 event got to see new technology, including the autonomous DOT Power Platform, in action. Experts say the pandemic will speed up adoption of self-driving equipment as well as behind-the-scenes tech, such as distributed ledger technology.

Pandemic speeding up adoption of technology

Online ordering and virtual contracts commonplace, traceability and autonomous machines getting new push

Like it or not, the farm of the future will run on technology — and that future has become ever closer because of COVID-19. “It’s been a pretty big disruption for a lot of businesses,” said Wes Anderson, senior fertility specialist at CropPro Consulting. “It has forced a lot of our clients to use technology […] Read more


AI is determining what to put on the shelves in the future, how much of it to have available and at what cost.

Artificial intelligence is everywhere, and it’s just getting started

The invisible tracking of our buying habits should challenge us so we are not defined by a database

I have been thinking about artificial intelligence (AI) and the impact it has on consumerism. AI is used to track your buying habits and predetermine your buying needs. It is also the robotics that clean fields or make cars, do complex surgery or make a digital diagnosis. It is the smart fridge that knows what […] Read more

An apt symbol of rural internet? An internet tower perched on an old wooden grain elevator in Onoway, Alta.

Pandemic pushes rural internet speeds to the breaking point

Notoriously slow already, rural internet has struggled with increased demand during the pandemic — and that isn’t likely to change any time soon

The internet on Monika Benoit’s northern Alberta farm was bad enough before the pandemic. Now it’s almost “non-existent.” “We sigh a lot,” said Benoit, who farms with husband Mike near High Prairie. “Even when there’s not a pandemic, we have internet issues. But with the isolation and social distancing protocols we’re supposed to be following, […] Read more


The Spornado can tell if a spore pathogen is present but you still have to figure out if it’s worth applying fungicide.

Spornado causes a whirlwind of new research

There’s an affordable way to detect fusarium or sclerotinia spores — but it’s not one-and-done technology

A device that helps alert growers to the presence of airborne pathogens has been popping up in some Alberta cereal and canola fields in the last couple of years. But while Spornado — and in-crop spore detection in general — is promoted as a tool to take the guesswork out of fungicide application decisions, this […] Read more

Sure, drones draw a crowd, but like other farm tools today, they need to earn their keep by generating usable data that actually increases profits.

The farm data overload needs a fix

Ag tech event shows future of farming is data driven — but 'we're not there yet'

Jay Bruggencate has a bit of a bone to pick with the ag-tech industry. “We’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into smart equipment that knows what it’s doing but can’t talk to each other,” said the Lacombe-area farmer at the recent AgSmart event at Olds College. “There’s so much data now available to us […] Read more


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

The DOT Autonomous Power Platform will be making its Alberta debut at Olds College AgSmart event on Aug. 13-14.

Event offers chance to get up close to leading-edge ag tech

Olds College offering hands-on demos and displays of the ‘latest and greatest’ in advanced technology

Ag technology is advancing faster than ever before — but farmers still aren’t always sure how to make these innovations work on their own operations. “Technology is such a huge component of agriculture going into the future. It’s making agriculture more sustainable, more productive and more profitable,” said Joy Agnew, director of applied research at […] Read more