GFM Network News


Earthworms and their castings are one of the more visible soil health indicators.

Precision ‘agronomy’

Precision ag is rapidly evolving, with an emerging suite of benefits for producers

Has any segment of agri-food changed as much in the past 10 years as precision ag? What is certain is that the science’s power to extrapolate data points, generate better maps, recommend specific courses of action and lead growers to higher revenues is unparalleled. The challenge though is still the same: Where to start? For […] 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

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


Researchers hope to release open-source tools for farmers to assess profitability using yield maps of their fields.

Does input in equal profit out?

University of Guelph researchers are working with precision ag tools to identify areas of profit, not just yield

Farming and farmland conservation sometimes seem at odds — a win for one is seen as a loss for the other. Taking land out of production for conservation is seen as a loss of productive farmland, while the ecological community sometimes views intensive ag production as a threat to long-term sustainability. But an ongoing study […] Read more

Precision agriculture has the power to help growers profit more by growing less, says Dr. Clarence Swanton, University of Guelph.

Profit more by farming less

Based on new University of Guelph research, profitability mapping shows why some parts of the farm will never make money with corn and soybeans

Seldom has agriculture been a model of “cutting back” or “making more by doing less.” Yet when it comes to sustainability, soil health and even profitability, it may be time to explore both of these notions. There are some who insist agriculture in North America is heading in the right direction with recognition of soil […] Read more


From left, Jennifer and Jay Bruggencate, and Mike and Kelly Sulzle.

Dream team

In Vector Grain, the Bruggencates and Sulzles are collaborating on a joint venture to make their longtime farming dreams a reality. It takes dedication and smarts, and loads of professional advice. But it’s paying off

Mike Sulzle had worked as Craig Shaw’s hired man for 16 years when Shaw approached him in 2015 with surprising news: 2016 would be his last year farming. “Craig had always said I could take over when he quit farming one day, but it wasn’t serious,” says Sulzle. “I didn’t see how I could do […] 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

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


Friedhelm Hoffmann has fertigated corn, soybeans and wheat, which he states yielded 140 bushels per acre.

Get there on time

Timely delivery is a big plus for “fertigation,” but can you afford the costs and the management demands?

In precision agriculture, the focus is typically on the low-hanging fruit, i.e. the use of yield data to create variable-rate fertilizer scripts, investing in individual row units with automatic down-force, or using aerial imagery to pinpoint trouble spots in a field. Most such discussions are also confined to choices about soil, seed and fertility. Yet […] Read more

Eastern agricultural conference planner

The need for learning never stops, and neither — fortunately — do the opportunities

[UPDATED: Dec. 7, 2018] Time and again, the past five to 10 years have proved that winter on the farm is no time for hibernating. Instead, winter in farming circles is for learning and for developing new skills. It’s for sharpening pencils on farm management practices, and for opening the door on opportunities, whether that’s […] Read more


“I want farmers to better understand the land they’re working, that’s their baseline,” Angela Bedard-Haughn says. “To manage soils effectively, you have to understand them.”

The power of knowing your soil

Much of Saskatchewan’s soil has been studied at least once over the decades. A WGRF-sponsored project puts all the results in one location available to everyone

Have you ever wondered why crops don’t seem to do well on a certain bit of land and it’s not always obvious why? Angela Bedard-Haughn is here to help you figure that out. The professor of soil science in the College of Agriculture and Bioresources at the University of Saskatchewan is leading the Saskatchewan Soil […] Read more

Using an RG 1300 C allows a grower to apply urea while seeding a cover crop into standing corn.

New from old

Adapting old machines to precision ag is possible after all

When it comes to reusing, recycling or refashioning, farmers have always been the best. But mention “precision ag” and the feeling is that everything has to be expensive and brand shining new. Seldom does it seem possible to take something that’s already on the farm and rework it into something to use today. What if […] Read more