GFM Network News


The Dot A-U1, during a field demonstration at Canada’s Outdoor Farm Show, in September 2019.

Robotic weed management takes to the fields

The potential for cost savings and precise control is enormous

Reading Time: 6 minutes Extraordinary. Revolutionary. Game-changing. Those are just some of the adjectives being used to describe robotic weed management, a technology that is generating considerable anticipation based on the initial research into its benefits in a row-crop environment. The list of key players and systems includes WEEDit, Xarvio, Bosch, Agrifac and Einböck. And the potential is large […] Read more

The next decade could see a return to smaller fields due to the higher-intensity management made possible by driverless technology such as the DOT.

Changes in agriculture are coming your way

These production challenges mean we’ll all have to stay sharp through the 2020s

Reading Time: 4 minutes Just because we can predict many of the production challenges heading our way doesn’t mean they’ll be easier to avoid, or that they’ll be easier to manage. In fact, by the time the new decade starts winding down in 2030, Canadian producers will have their hands just as full as they are today, if not […] Read more


The main atrium at John Deere’s new ISG R&D building in Des Moines, Iowa, is the hub of a unique work environment for engineers and scientists in tech and robotics.

John Deere builds a new home for rare talent

The green brand is on the lookout for 'unicorns' in high-technology fields, and with farm backgrounds

Reading Time: 6 minutes In today’s high-technology world, a new startup tech firm with the potential to go really big is often described as a unicorn. That term is also used to describe a software engineer or skilled programmer with exactly the right background and combination of skills to drive a company forward, simply because both of those are […] Read more

AGCO adds two new models with Dyna-4 “brake-to-clutch” transmissions to its MF 5700 Global Series tractor line.

AGCO adds to its Global Massey Ferguson tractor line

Two new 5700 Series models hit the market for 2020

Reading Time: 2 minutes In the last couple of years, major brands have been producing utility and mid-range tractors with powershift transmissions that don’t require clutching. In October AGCO announced it, too, is adding that type of transmission to its “Global” 5700 Series Massey Ferguson tractor family. Two new models, the 100-horsepower 5710D and 111-horsepower 5711D models will join […] Read more


Dustin Burns farms in Saskatchewan and has had an autonomous field robot working on his farm this spring.


Taking autonomy into the field

Finally, self-drive technology is moving onto real farms

Reading Time: 5 minutes If there was any doubt that how we farm is undergoing a foundational change, this should convince you that there is mammoth change on the horizon. In July the federal government pledged $49.5 million to the Alberta Innovates program to advance research and development in agricultural automation as part of the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN). “The program,” said […] Read more

For Dean, Devin, Darren and father Bernie, on-farm manufacturing provides a kind of balance. But make no mistake… this is a farm first, with all the challenges that implies.

Auger-steer invention drives farm family’s business success

Diversifying into manufacturing creates more opportunity for the Toews family, but there have been many lessons along the way

Reading Time: 12 minutes It was 2008 and things just weren’t working out for Bernie Toews. From his tractor cab, he’d tried again and again to manoeuvre an auger around a tight corner on the family farm near MacGregor, an hour and a half west of Winnipeg, and it just wasn’t going to happen. Now, Toews was backing the […] Read more


How realistic is it to assess the savings for every new tool or practice on the farm?

How much will that new farm technology really pay?

New tech can work wonders, but is your economic analysis a bankable guide to how it will perform on your farm?

Reading Time: 9 minutes Like everything else in farming, it’s getting more complicated to decide which technologies to invest in for the farm. Actually, make that “much more complicated.” An effective technology strategy is a key success factor, says Purdue University professor Michael Langemeier, “Early adopters of technology often reap above-average profits.” Plus, says Langemeier, it can keep them […] Read more

Staff demonstrate how the DOT autonomous power platform connects to an implement, using the Pattison Connect sprayer.

Autonomous farm machinery drives out into the desert

DOT Technology Corp. holds an impressive demo day in Arizona

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s obvious that Norbert Beaujot invests a lot of time thinking about the coming transformation of ag machinery, and about how to explain it to the farmers who are going to be at the very centre of the action. Beaujot is founder of DOT Technology Corp. and the inventor of the DOT autonomous power platform, […] Read more


IT firms are seeing the potential in agri-food technology and are buying companies or bringing in talent.

Investing in agri-food technology

“A very dismal state of affairs” is how one investor looks at Canada’s ag tech future

Reading Time: 4 minutes San Eng thinks the agri-food technology investment climate in Canada might improve, but a “venture capital ecosystem” must develop quickly or the nation will lose out. “The people I’ve talked to are overlooking the sector — they don’t think it’s sexy enough, which is disappointing because the potential is there,” says the serial entrepreneur who […] Read more

Several factors relating to water quality can affect product performance in the field, often to the detriment of the crop.

Keep an eye on water quality

Water can play havoc with spray performance, especially with the rise in tank mixing

Reading Time: 5 minutes The 2019 growing season is now within sight and with it, another season’s worth of herbicide, fungicide and insecticide applications. Given the challenges that can arise with sprayers and their products, it’s worth revisiting the subject of water quality and the potential impact of factors such as temperature, hardness and pH on product performance. With […] Read more