GFM Network News


Farmers have newer and simpler rules for incorporating drones into their operations.

New federal drone rules will be a boon to farmers

Previous rules discouraged producers from using them to check crops and livestock

New federal rules for operating drones will make it a lot simpler for farmers to include them in their operations, says the president of a Winnipeg-based company that trains drone operators. Matthew Johnson, president and CEO of M3 Aerial Productions, said the move is a necessary one. “For a long time farmers have been testing

Drone data firm invests in precision ag analytics

Southwestern Ontario crop input retailer and grain handler South West Ag Partners has made a deal to sell its precision agriculture analytics business to an expansion-minded drone data provider. Toronto-based Deveron UAS announced Aug. 28 it will trade a 9.9 per cent share of its business plus $320,000 cash for South West Ag’s Veritas Farm


Matthew Johnson, founder of M3 Aerial Productions, poses with his fixed-wing drone, one of several his company uses to provide drone services to farmers since the agricultural branch of his company launched last year.

Tighter drone regs affect agricultural use

Restrictions to within nine kilometres of an ‘aerodrome’ affect much of agricultural Manitoba

Assiniboine Community College’s agribusiness program has grounded most drone flights while professors sort through new regulations around their operation. The new Transport Canada rules released March 16 limit recreational drones between 250 grams and 35 kilograms to within 90 metres of the ground, at least 75 metres away from structures, people or vehicles, to daylight

Manitoba Potato Production Days hosted a panel discussion on drones in Brandon on January 27. Dr. Ian MacRae (l to r), professor and extension entomologist at the University of Minnesota, Craig Linde, diversification specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Trevor Thornton, president of Crop Care Consulting, Darren White, agronomist with Delta Ag Services.


Discussing drones

A panel of industry experts sheds some light on the drone 
landscape for producers interested in investing in the equipment

Interested in diving into the world of drones? Start small, a panel of agronomists told farmers attending Manitoba Potato Production Days Jan. 27. “I would suggest starting with a small piece of equipment,” said Trevor Thornton, president of Crop Care Consulting. “A lot of guys want something that they can keep in their truck and

U.S. officials say they now get reports every day of “potentially unsafe” drone operations, such as over wildfires, near airports and over major sports events.

U.S. consulting on registration for aerial drones

Canada plans a registration process for light unmanned aircraft next year

U.S. federal transportation and aviation officials are at the drawing board on a registration process for unmanned aircraft systems, more popularly known as drones. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) administrator Michael Huerta on Oct. 19 announced they will set up a task force to develop recommendations for such a process and


Jeffery Kostuik (centre), diversification specialist with Parkland Crop Diversification Foundation, demonstrated his SenseFly eBee fixed-wing drone at the Westman Agriculture Diversification Organization’s (WADO) field day in Melita on July 21.

Taking flight on crop surveillance

Drones offer farmers a number of options in monitoring fields 
but it still doesn’t beat boots on the ground

Far more complex than yesterday’s remote-control planes, the modern-day drone has a lot to offer today’s producer. “As far as data collection, these are really useful. We are figuring that we can make use of them for a number of things, including determining crop health and monitoring maturity,” said Jeffery Kostuik, diversification specialist with Parkland

Some drones, including this one, are relatively inexpensive providing farmers with a new tool for crop scouting.

It’s a bird, a plane — no, it’s the farmer’s new eye in the sky

Drones can give you the big picture of a field, a small one of seed row spacing, or even check on the cows

Want a bird’s-eye view of your crop, find stray steers, or safely monitor a cow calving on pasture? It’s getting easier and cheaper to do with a wide array of drones on the market, says Rejean Picard, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’s (MAFRD) farm production adviser in Somerset. Once almost exclusively used by soldiers