GFM Network News


In the not-too-distant future, a farmer’s job will be more about managing data than managing soil.

Farming in 2030: Big data

The last time there was a change this big in farming, it was mechanization. The question is: are you open to exploring how it can work for you?

Reading Time: 5 minutes If you’ve got a cell phone anywhere close to you as you read this, you’re part of the data revolution in agriculture, whether you realize it or not, and whether you want to be or not. That’s probably a good thing. Certainly, the potential benefits are amazing. “The smartphone is going to be one of […] Read more

Grain equipment firm AGI takes stake in Farmobile

Reading Time: 2 minutes Canadian grain handling and storage equipment maker Ag Growth International plans to dial up its collaboration with ag tech firm Farmobile and has taken a minority stake in the U.S. company to that end. Winnipeg-based AGI announced Tuesday it had agreed to make a “minority equity investment” of US$15 million (C$19.57 million) in Farmobile, effective […] Read more


Among the positives of using community or on-farm data, says Karon Cowan, there’s the opportunity to learn from one’s own farm data that’s appealing.

A place for community data

“Mining data isn’t a substitute for doing actual research,” warns seed company scientist

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the past five years, precision agriculture systems have begun providing an exciting opportunity to collect and pool data on factors ranging from yields to soil quality and beyond. Each data set offers greater insight into the characteristics of a field and its variability, or to its potential response to different treatments and management practices. […] Read more

Getting rich from your farm data

Data protection isn’t just for geeks. If you farm, you’ve got a pile of real dollars at stake. Here’s how

Reading Time: 8 minutes Farmers do all they can to protect their crops and livestock from pests, diseases and weather. We insure our buildings and equipment. We adopt marketing strategies to protect against price declines. But if you ask what we do to protect our farm data, you’ll usually get met with a blank stare. That’s not good. Information […] Read more


For Josh Fankhauser, integrating field data with the decisions he makes in the shop leads to better, more profitable crop performance the next summer.

Gigs of data at work on the farm

Data Analysis: Rigorous analysis of numbers from the field helps this farm achieve its business objective

Reading Time: 8 minutes When Josh Fankhauser isn’t in the shop fine tuning some equipment, he’s often at his office computer, wading through gigabytes of crop production data and analyzing numbers. Like a lot of farmers, Fankhauser is happy with a wrench in his hand, and in a world where the ethos is “throw it out, buy new,” he […] Read more

Getting that farm data working in the field

Some big ag players and Silicon Valley investors are convinced that precision agriculture and ‘big data’ are the next big things. Convincing farmers is another matter

Reading Time: 5 minutes The problem with any new ag technology is that the engineers can design it, the manufacturers can make it and the marketers can sell it, but it’s left to the farmers out in the field to figure out exactly how to make it work. That’s the dynamic today for precision agriculture, according to one specialist. […] Read more


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We’re in an information-overload world, and that’s why this new generation wants the five-second text.” – Peter Johnson.

Are farmers suffering from too much information?

With today’s big data, it sure would help to have those provincial crop advisers back on the team

Reading Time: 7 minutes While agriculture in Canada has been evolving in the past 10 to 15 years, there has also been a curious evolution in the quantity and the quality of information available to farmers. In the late 1990s, at least in Ontario, the governing Conservative Party began scaling back on what was referred to as “bricks and […] Read more

For OYF president Jack Thomson, the key is to understand risk. “I’d rather be stabbed in the front than in the back.”

Unleash your Midas touch

Adopt these seven habits of Canada’s top farmers

Reading Time: 7 minutes Does it seem some farmers just have that touch? Anything they start turns into gold. Is it just timing? Genius? Luck? Or do these farmers regularly do things that enable them to excel? Or do they cultivate skills that the rest of us don’t? Country Guide asked Jack Thomson, president of the Outstanding Young Farmer […] Read more


The DeKalb app demonstrates the trend that is expected to become industry-wide, with some easy-to-use functions that everyone can use, plus higher-end functions for keeners.

What’s next for crop apps?

We’ve come a long way, but there’s a lot further we can go

Reading Time: 6 minutes “There’s an app for that!” They’re among the most often heard words in this data-driven world of mobile devices and services. Yet with the launch of app after app, not to mention all the buzz about the Cloud, new questions are cropping up, including several that we might never have thought we’d be asking. Have we […] Read more

Farm groups, ag tech companies agree on data privacy standards

Reading Time: 2 minutes Reuters — A consortium of farmer organizations and agriculture data technology providers on Thursday published a set of data privacy and security principles aimed at reassuring farmers that data they share with Big Data services providers will not be misused. The non-binding principles are also meant to provide companies that collect, store and analyze farmer […] Read more