GFM Network News


UAV or drone imagery has its strengths and weaknesses the same as satellite or nanosatellite imagery.

‘Sky-high’ technology takes to new heights

Hmmm… If drones are good, would a nanosatellite be even better?

Reading Time: 6 minutes With every piece of equipment and every line of computer software that the precision ag sector creates, farmers are playing catch-up. Yes, it’s exciting to learn about new technology and the endless possibilities around the corner, but in the real world, that corner is still out of sight. The requirements for huge amounts of data […] Read more

A spray plane flies over a swarm of desert locusts at Lemasulani village in Kenya’s Samburu County on Jan. 17, 2020. (Photo: Reuters/Njeri Mwangi)

Drones to be tested against Africa’s locust swarms

U.N.'s FAO testing drones to detect, spray pests

Reading Time: 3 minutes Nairobi | Thomson Reuters Foundation — The United Nations is to test drones equipped with mapping sensors and atomizers to spray pesticides in parts of east Africa battling an invasion of desert locusts that are ravaging crops and exacerbating a hunger crisis. Hundreds of millions of the voracious insects have swept across Ethiopia, Somalia and […] Read more


Matt Johnson of M3 Aerial Productions says canopy reflectance tells you where you need to take a closer look.

A drone spots a problem in your field. Now what?

Drone-mounted cameras measuring NDVI reflectance can identify crop problems, but not necessarily the cause. Researchers are looking for other tools that might

Reading Time: 5 minutes It’s been more than a few years since drones made their debut in agriculture, but questions about whether they’re worth producers’ time aren’t going away. Most agricultural drones are set up to measure canopy reflectance using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), a graphical indicator that assesses crop health by measuring canopy reflectance. Drones carrying […] Read more

Last November, Transport Canada presented draft changes to regulations governing UAVs.

UAV regs changing – for the better

Transport Canada looks to streamline and standardize the rules for drone use

Reading Time: 5 minutes The growth in the functionality of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) over much of the past decade has been steady. From the early days when advisers, dealers, agronomists and laboratories purchased and used the units to derive valuable insights into crop performance to more recent sales of much simpler designs for hobby uses, UAVs have made […] Read more


(File photo by Dave Bedard)

Walmart patents hint at future where its drones tend the farms

Reading Time: 3 minutes New York/Chicago | Reuters — Walmart’s patent filings hint that it may see a future where farmers use its drones to not only spot crop problems but selectively apply chemicals or even disperse pollen to bring shoppers the freshest and cheapest food possible. The world’s largest retailer applied for six patents last year on drones […] Read more

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.

Don’t just fly your drone out of the box

New regulations make flying a drone more complicated for both recreational and commercial users

Reading Time: 5 minutes You’ve invested thousands of dollars in that unmanned air vehicle (UAV), and you’re anxious to see it perform. You take it out of the box, plunk in the batteries, and off it goes… forever. It happens, says Matthew Johnson, owner of M3 Aerial Productions, a Winnipeg company that offers UAV training and aerial imagery and […] Read more


(Video screengrab from DeveronUAS.com)

Climate Corp. to partner with Canadian drone data firm

Reading Time: 2 minutes In a bid to bring its eye-in-the-sky views of clients’ fields closer to Earth, Monsanto’s Climate Corp. has struck up a partnership with a Canadian drone data provider. Climate on Nov. 15 announced an “official” partnership with Toronto-based Deveron UAS, which operates a fleet of drones serving farm clients across North America, to deliver “advanced” […] Read more

Farmers Edge is partnering with Planet, the company with the largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites, to bring farmers satellite images of fields several times a week. (Submitted image)

Farmers Edge expands satellite imagery offering

Reading Time: 4 minutes Farmers Edge says it’s making satellite imagery a practical and affordable agronomic tool for farmers through a new strategic partnership with Planet, the company with the largest fleet of Earth-imaging satellites. “We think this will be game-changing,” Farmers Edge president and CEO Wade Barnes said in an interview Oct. 3. “I think it’s going to […] Read more


Chris Neeser used a fixed-wing UAV and captured images three times during the season in two fields each of barley, canola, field peas, seed alfalfa, potatoes and spring wheat.

UAVs and crop scouting. Are they worth it?

Seven organizations supported a two-year study on whether drones can provide practical benefits to farmers

Reading Time: 5 minutes When Chris Neeser began to design a research project on the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in crop scouting, he wondered if anyone would be willing to fund it. “This was different from a typical research project,” says Neeser, a research scientist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry’s Crop Diversification Centre, South, in Brooks. “There […] Read more