GFM Network News


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

Staff prepares an autonomous DOT for a public demonstration during Canada’s Farm Progress Show in Regina in June.

Self-driving versus the lawyers

Fully autonomous farm vehicles are already here, but setting the rules for their use won’t be simple

Reading Time: 5 minutes The Senate of Canada had a pretty simple question when it held the hearings that led to is report, “Driving Change, Technology and the Future of the Automated Vehicle.” It’s a question farmers are asking too. When is all this technology going to arrive? You couldn’t exactly say the experts answered it with precision. Their […] 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

A cutaway view of a Xaver robot shows it is built on a modular design, and in the future it could potentially be repurposed to do jobs other than seeding corn.

‘Xaver’-ing success

AGCO’s MARS project lands a new name ahead of its market release

Reading Time: 3 minutes Several months ago Country Guide reported on the field robot project called MARS, which is an acronym for Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarms. It began as a joint research project between the European Commission and AGCO’s Fendt brand. At the Agritechnica machinery show in Hanover, Germany, in November, AGCO revealed the project has moved beyond the […] Read more


The mobile robot unit (with the tower in the background) is capable of taking phenotypic measurements of a corn plant at three different levels, without damaging the plant.

Probing drought stress in corn

The potential for measuring, modelling and helping improve production is astounding

Reading Time: 6 minutes The design and creation of a new robotic device for phenotyping plants is a double-sided boon to agriculture. On one hand, it is indicative of the enormous potential of the autonomous systems now in development for farm applications. On the other, it’s a huge leap forward for researchers and plant breeders and their ability 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


SeedMaster’s Norbert Beaujot sees DOT technology as one solution to a shortage of skilled operators.

Not just a driverless tractor, but no tractor at all

A global launch at Ag in Motion could change the way you farm

Reading Time: 4 minutes While farmers have been waiting impatiently for equipment designers to commercialize the driverless tractor, Prairie inventor and entrepreneur Norbert Beaujot has found a way to ditch the tractor altogether. And he’s rolling it out for the first time in July 18 to 20 at Ag in Motion (AIM), Western Canada’s outdoor farm show now in […] Read more

The MARS research project uses swarms of small autonomous robots to seed fields.

Heading to MARS

This new ag robot concept uses swarms of small machines

Reading Time: 2 minutes A new research project underway in Europe may give farmers a reason to think swarms are a good thing. Far from swarms of locusts or other troublesome pests, the MARS (Mobile Agricultural Robot Swarms) pro­ject is working on creating swarms of small, autonomous robots that can seed farm fields on their own. The MARS project […] Read more


The Harper Adams working group: (l to r) research assistant Martin Abell, robotics researcher Jonathan Gill and Kit Franklin, ag engineering and project manager.

Thinking small with a big idea

Britain’s “Hands Free Hectare” project is developing the model that you may need to build tomorrow’s farm on

Reading Time: 6 minutes As a kid, I can vividly remember one particular occasion sitting on the steps in my grandparents’ old farmhouse in the late 1960s looking at an issue of Country Guide. One image from its pages still sticks in my memory. It was an advertisement showing Massey-Ferguson’s newest line of tractors. Why did that mental image […] 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