GFM Network News


“With technology, if you come late to the party on a disruption, once you realize you’ve been disrupted, you can never fix it,” says Wade Barnes.

Our ‘Amazon moment’

As Wade Barnes sees it, farms and farm suppliers can either embrace today’s tech disruption, or get ready to sell to those who will

Reading Time: 5 minutes More ag companies are testing the winds of change. They believe agriculture is on the cusp of another technological revolution, this time fueled by digitization and online connectivity. This revolution will bring risk, and it will bring opportunity. And, for sure, it will bring disruption. It will change what it takes to be successful, both […] Read more

An NDVI image of a corn crop that indicates side-dress nitrogen effects on corn maturity.

Field imagery much more just a pretty picture

Overhead imagery can transform how you farm, but it’s essential to choose the right technology — and commit to it

Reading Time: 8 minutes Precision agriculture has had a rough go since it was first conceptualized in the mid-1990s with the advent of the yield monitor. At that point, “variable rate” became part of agriculture’s vocabulary, followed by zone mapping, aerial imagery and a growing list of technologies now available to growers. Yet there’s still reluctance to rely too […] 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

Collecting and using data will drive the agriculture of the future, says a professor at Ohio State University.

Into the future

Celebrated ag tech guru Scott Shearer sees a profitable path ahead, together with some potential bumps

Reading Time: 4 minutes While it’s not exactly as futuristic as 2001: A Space Odyssey, it’s no longer such a big stretch to imagine the day when a single operator anywhere in the world can remotely control 25 to 30 tractors, and when our crops effectively send us emails letting us know what they need. As professor and chair […] Read more


Many agricultural technology companies say the information they collect is the property of the farmer, but they don’t have transparent explanations as to what that actually means.

Our data road map

Is the ADT initiative in the U.S. the right way to put Canada’s farmers in control of their data too?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Canada is awash in agricultural data that’s not being used to its full potential by farmers, researchers, or the government. Now, work has begun to try and improve that situation. “There’s a lot of information that exists electronically, but we need to give farmers control of their data so they can use it and flow […] Read more

Operating on their own, these autonomous tractors will help eliminate the on-farm labour crunch.

The ag-robots are here

Get set for the biggest change since the invention of the tractor

Reading Time: 6 minutes Standing in front of a fully autonomous T8 tractor, New Holland’s vice-president, Bret Lieberman summed up what the company is telling its people in just two sentences at this year’s U.S. Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa. “This industry has evolved considerably over the last 100 years,” Lieberman said. “I don’t think that any of […] Read more


Monsanto, Microsoft to invest in ag technology in Brazil

Reading Time: < 1 minute Sao Paulo | Reuters — U.S. biotech company Monsanto and U.S. software and tech firm Microsoft announced on Monday a partnership to invest in agricultural technology startups in Brazil. Monsanto will join a Brazilian investment fund with up to 300 million reais (C$118 million), managed by Microsoft, evaluating ideas for new digital tools to be […] Read more

Another example of a fixed-wing aircraft is this Piper Pawnee, seen over a field near St. Marys, Ont.

Is the sky the limit for aerial spray applicators?

Caught between rigid government regulations and undependable farm demand, these aerial applicators wonder about their future

Reading Time: 6 minutes We all look when we hear them. The sound of an airplane or helicopter sprayer is as distinctive as it is enticing. With an airplane, there’s that telltale roar of its high-powered engine and the pitch-shifting Doppler-effect. With a helicopter, there’s the unmistakable vibration stirring the air as it races from one end of a […] Read more