GFM Network News


A first batch of 60 Starlink satellites — each about the size of a table and weighing about 500 pounds — were stacked atop a Falcon 9 rocket and put in orbit in May 2019. More batches have been deployed and SpaceX plans to put thousands in place in a low orbit just a few hundred miles above the Earth’s surface.

Out-of-this-world rural internet speeds still a long way off

Famed entrepreneur Elon Musk plans to bring affordable, high-speed internet to rural Canada, but experts are wary

Glacier FarmMedia – SpaceX is shooting for the moon with the promise of reliable high-speed internet for rural Canadians — but farmers might want to keep their expectations a little more grounded, at least for now. Last month, the space exploration company owned by Elon Musk (of PayPal and Tesla fame applied for several Basic

A new photo cell could generate electricity for greenhouse operators without harming crop production.

New solar panels grab light from above and below

Potential solution towards balance between crop growth and electricity generation capabilities

Electricity is a major expense for Canadian greenhouse growers. At the same time, large greenhouse facilities offer potential to produce renewable solar energy — but the challenge to date has been how to do that without impacting the growth and productivity of the crop inside. A potential solution from Ontario solar panel manufacturer Heliene is


Are farmers ready to seize the day when it comes to smart ag?

Investing in next-generation agriculture would pay big dividends, but investment dollars will be in short supply

The pandemic has revealed critical weaknesses in the country’s agriculture and food systems — and the need to invest in their future, say experts. “It’s continuing to show the importance of technology, and adopting technology, on the farm,” said Remi Schmaltz, CEO and co-founder of Decisive Farming, a digital ag and farm management company. “We

The challenges with moving a new technology into rural areas could create new partnerships and opportunities.

The wired farm

Will 5G networks kick off a wave of innovation for Canada’s farms?

Users of the Samsung Galaxy S20 phone will be the first to have access to 5G technology in Canada. Rural residents and farmers will have to wait much longer – if the technology ever arrives. Rogers announced in early March that it is rolling out 5G networks in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal, with 20

Comment: Expect data to be at the heart of 2020 trends

Automation, machine learning, consumer transparency and even the weather will mean data this year

Canada’s growers certainly had more than their share of challenges in 2019. Dramatic and unpredictable weather, farm costs, labour shortages, trade wars… all combined to make 2019 a year to remember (or forget). Hopefully, there’s more to look forward to in the coming year. Here are four trends I think will shape the industry in


Farmers can see cow data, like this, within their line of vision using augmented reality glasses.

Technology brings augmented reality to your dairy barn

Company overlaying data and reality in new system to help information management

Imagine looking over your barn full of dairy cows and being able to tell instantly which ones were in heat and which ones are up and down in feed consumption or milk. There are ways to do this now, with a phone or a tablet computer feeding information to the farmer as they move through the barn. However, Nedap

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

When farms go high tech they won’t need as many employees — but the ones they have will need specialized skills.

Workers and tech needed to plug labour gap

But as the sector becomes more technology driven, there’s a serious skills mismatch

Back-to-back announcements on agriculture work issues spell out the challenge that farmers will increasingly face in grappling with long-standing worker shortages and adopting new technology into their operations. First was a report July 22 from the Canadian Agriculture Human Resources Council (CAHRC) that said “nearly all farm employers share similar challenges when it comes to


A greenhouse at the University of Winnipeg is growing plants for physics and computer science researchers working on machine-learning problems in precision agriculture.

University of Winnipeg dives into agriculture research

Collaboration to develop expertise in high-tech precision ag technology

A very urban university is starting to sink roots deep into Manitoba’s agriculture sector. The University of Winnipeg is embarking on a collaboration with Enterprise Machine Intelligence and Learning Initiative (or EMILI as it’s known) to contribute to taking the agriculture industry high tech. Ray Bouchard, EMILI chair and president and CEO of Enns Brothers,

Thanks to tweets, blog posts, online product listings, factory-to-market retail, etc., we are seeing a direct line of communication to users and customers.

Comment: The fourth industrial revolution

Farmers can benefit more than most from the rapid technological advancements that are all around us

Who is a farmer? My answer: a professional, a person of integrity and honesty, an expert in his or her field, a steward of the land, a champion of the working class, an employer, a hard worker and an entrepreneur. All these things are true and define most of the people driving today’s farm. It’s