GFM Network News


Myth busting precision agriculture

Cory Willness’s presentation at Farm Forum Event unravelled 10 common myths 
in the emerging precision ag sector

“Precision Ag” is a very common term in today’s agriculture sector, but it can mean different things to different people. New sensors, software, and shiny toys can seem like a must-buy at first, but some producers are suggesting that old-fashioned logic might be the best tool for consistent yields and steady profits. “Right now there’s

The 10-litre M6E-1 drone from American company HSE Unmanned Aerial Vehicles was one design tested by Baresich. The current cost of this drone, and its accompanying kit, stands at US$11,499. 

Spray drones take wing

Users say flexibility, lower costs key factors in growing interest – despite technological and regulatory limitations

Drones are now being used for spray applications in countries around the world. And while not commercially commonplace in Canada yet, companies and ag-service providers continue investing time and resources in the technology. Despite ongoing technical issues and unanswered practical questions, some think sprayer drones can bring a variety of agronomic, health, and human resource

The latest in agriculture technology was on display at Agritechnica this fall.

Farm machinery highlights from Agritechnica

Glacier FarmMedia’s Robin Booker describes hottest trends from Agritechnica 2019

If you have ever been to Agritechnica in Hannover, Germany, then you’ll know exactly what I mean when I say this show is truly one of a kind. Based on size alone, Agritechnica is the world’s largest agricultural machinery trade show with 2,800 exhibitors from 52 countries. It happens every two years and is a

Today’s drones are great at selecting pastures and tracking cattle, can read an ear tag from 70 metres up, and offer spectral imaging a hundred times more powerful than 
satellites, says researcher John Church. And while they’re not good at herding, drone technology is close to offering health assessments of individual cows.

Plunging prices and better tech should put drones on your radar

Drones with sophisticated imaging tech can be robust precision tools for managing cattle on pasture

Producers are always being pitched new technology, and the marketing din is arguably louder than ever in this age of precision agriculture. So when producers ask if unmanned aerial vehicles are just expensive toys, it’s a fair question. While John Church would be the first to admit he has a lot of fun researching the

The Harrington Seed 
Destructor has come a long way since it was first developed in 2012.
 Originally a tow-behind unit that 
attached to the back of the combine, the new weed seed management tool is now a mill that can be integrated with the combine ― at half the price.

Is the weed seed ‘destructor’ ready for prime time in Canada?

Aussie invention is much cheaper, easier to use, but is still in the ‘promising, not proven’ category

In the battle against herbicide-resistant weeds, the Harrington Seed Destructor might just win us the war — if farmers can justify the $100,000 price tag. “If herbicides are still working, it can be hard to convince producers to spend that kind of money to purchase this kind of equipment,” said federal research scientist Breanne Tidemann.


There was plenty of interest in a comparison of roller crimping versus tillage for cover crop management at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show in Woodstock, Ont.

To till or not to till

Demo highlights differences between tillage and no-till cover crop practices

As more producers start to incorporate cover crops into their soil health strategy, machinery companies are racing to develop tillage and non-tillage options to manage them. When choosing how to manage your cover crops, the first thing to address is whether you want to use tillage or go to a non-tillage option like a roller

Spray specialist Tom Wolf of Sprayers 101 helps demonstrate the WEEDit system this July, using water- sensitive pads laid on the ground to show droplet placement.

Adding some IQ to smart spraying

Weeds are in for some one-on-one attention with the latest spot-spraying tech coming down the pipe

It looks like something out of science fiction. Above a Saskatchewan field, a line of drones rises in formation, sensors primed to pick out enemy targets below. But this isn’t the latest Terminator movie. This is Daniel McCann’s brainchild for green-on-green spot spraying, an offshoot of precision spraying that promises to identify and take out

“We’ve actually sent people out into fields with cameras in Saskatchewan and Alberta and Manitoba to actually capture the weeds and crops that are growing right here.” – Daniel McCann, Precision.ai.

Smart spot spraying still has a way to go

Farmers need to be 100 per cent confident these new technologies will work when they hit the field

Like any developing technology, spot-spraying systems are far from perfect. In a Manitoba demonstration this July, attendees noted that the WEEDit system missed some smaller weeds during a single pass. That could be addresses by adjusting sensor sensitivity or by turning on “dual mode,” which sprays a constant quarter-rate to take care of less hardy


Faster internet may bring technology to more farms

In 2017, 84 per cent of farmers were using precision ag tech, but half said their internet wasn’t fast enough

Rural internet improvements may have implications for precision agriculture, farm technology — and Netflix binging. “We all hate waiting for that circle of death,” said Trevor Armitage, vice-president of global operations at Farmers Edge, referring to the familiar buffering symbol used while waiting for available bandwidth to catch up to demand. He said user experience drives much

The DOT lines itself up to attach to a SeedMaster branded attachment at Canada’s Farm Progress Show last year in Regina, Sask.

Move over Tesla, agriculture is where the real autonomy is at

DOT's autonomous platform to bring hands-free navigation to the field

We’ve heard lots about the coming revolution of self-driving cars. Some of the biggest tech giants on the planet like Google and Tesla are working hard to bring this to roads around the world. But closer to home, with far less fanfare, farmers are already bringing autonomy to the field in the form of SeedMaster’s