GFM Network News


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

Olds College launches fully traceable beer

Olds College Brewery has launched Barley Trail, a traceable beer using blockchain technology and barley grown on the college’s Smart Farm. Consumers can scan a QR code on every can to learn about the complete journey the ingredients took from field to glass. The initiative used Decisive Farming’s farm management technology (My Farm Manager and […] Read more


Ontario’s broiler egg tracking systems backed for upgrades

Systems used to track broiler hatching egg and chick production in Ontario will get upgrades using federal-provincial cost-shared funding. The federal and Ontario governments on Monday last week announced up to $141,450 through the Place to Grow: Agri-food Innovation Initiative, a Canadian Agricultural Partnership program, for the Ontario Broiler Hatching Egg and Chick Commission (OBHECC). […] Read more

Cattle traceability app upgraded

The Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) is making it easier for producers to report mandatory traceability data and stay compliant with an improved Canadian Livestock Tracking System (CLTS) MOBO app. The upgraded and free app enables easy access to the CLTS database from Android and iPhone devices and is more user friendly than the basic […] Read more


Walmart cited the contamination of romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona (pictured in this file photo) with E. coli when announcing its leafy greens suppliers will soon have to participate in a blockchain system. 
The contaminated lettuce from the Yuma area sickened more than 200 consumers in three dozen states this spring, and is blamed for five deaths. It took days to trace the lettuce back to the farms that grew it.

The brave new world of blockchain

Digital traceability has suddenly been thrust into the food sector

If there was ever any doubt that agriculture would someday run headlong into the blockchain space, it was quashed on Sept. 24. That was the day Walmart announced its leafy green suppliers would be required (in a year’s time) to participate in a blockchain-driven system providing full-chain traceability of their produce. In recent years, Bitcoin […] Read more

Pooling cattle from audited sustainable beef operations and tracing the beef every step of the way is a big logistical challenge — but now that it’s been done, it could open doors to new markets for cattle producers.

A new dawn? Sustainable beef puts money in producers’ pockets

It’s only $10 a cow, but pilot marks the first time producers 
have been paid for their stewardship efforts

The first rubber-meets-the-road test of the years-long effort to make sustainable beef a paying proposition has been a success. After three months of testing, the Canadian Beef Sustainability Acceleration pilot project has shown that tracing certified sustainable cattle and beef through the supply chain is possible at current volumes. “It’s one of the first times […] Read more



Keeping close tabs on the movement of cattle, visitors to your farm, and use of antimicrobials are all becoming increasingly important.

Put antimicrobials, traceability, and biosecurity on your to-do list

All three areas are undergoing changes that producers should be aware of, 
says the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association

There are things that beef producers need to look out for in the coming months when it comes to herd health and biosecurity. “We do know that there are changes in play that will require all medically important antimicrobials to become prescription only,” said Rob McNabb, general manager of the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association. Some medically […] Read more


Livestock premises ID participation strengthens Canadian agriculture

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency is considering changes to the Health of Animals Regulations for livestock traceability, the agency announced during PremisesIDWeek July 26, a federal release says. The changes would require all Canadian operators of premises where livestock may be loaded or unloaded from a vehicle to have a valid premises identification number for […] Read more

There are too many gaps in Canada’s traceability system, provincial expert Rick Frederickson said at the recent Traceability Symposium.

A full and robust traceability system still years away

Alberta is one of the few provinces with mandatory premises identification, but some livestock owners still aren’t registered

A national traceability system covering the entire country would pay major benefits — but it currently has far too many gaps, says a senior traceability official. “The creation of a system has to be national in scope,” said Rick Frederickson, director of animal welfare and national traceability initiatives with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry. “We need […] Read more