GFM Network News


Waterhemp towers above a soybean canopy.

Pest Patrol: How accurate are plant identification apps when it comes to weeds?

#PestPatrol with Mike Cowbrough, OMAFRA

Reading Time: 2 minutes Recommendations for plant identification apps were recently making the rounds on social media. Of course it would be nice to accurately identify an unknown weed in your field by taking a picture instead of sending it to an “expert” or a diagnostic lab. However, many of the top-rated plant identification apps are not particularly accurate […] Read more

This summer, rural Albertans will be able to access the free Crowd Security app to help tackle rural crime.

Rural crime: There’s an app for that

Rural crime rates are going up because criminals think they won’t get caught. We’ve got to change that, and this app may help

Reading Time: 9 minutes As I was writing this article, I learned through a Twitter post that a neighbouring farm five km away had experienced a break and enter of their farm shop. The Twitter post encouraged people in the community to check their shops to see if anyone else had been victimized. Unfortunately, I did not see the […] Read more


Climate FieldView image maps show biomass levels that indicate a healthy crop, or areas that might not warrant further investment.

Apply your fungicide where it matters

Climate FieldView is helping growers use imaging combined with historical data for a targeted approach to fungicide application

Reading Time: 4 minutes When it is time to make a fungicide decision, D’Arcy Hilgartner weighs several factors. Is the crop at the right stage? What are the current moisture conditions? How has the weather looked throughout the season compared to years past? How much of his crop is likely susceptible to disease? Today, he can access all of […] Read more

The information landscape is changing, and some organizations are exploring new ways of offering that information to farmers other than traditional methods.

Who’s getting educated?

It’s time for ag suppliers to get as good as farmers at technology, and to treat us with the respect we have earned

Reading Time: 6 minutes Technology and big data have changed nearly every facet of agriculture. My tractor performance is continually monitored, not only by the operator but by the manufacturer. If the operator slips the clutch or stalls the tractor while under load, I can expect an immediate notification on my cell phone. If it’s anything more serious, a […] Read more


Devices are growing smarter and more sophisticated all the time, and as they makes people’s lives simpler and easier, they are increasingly accepted.

Food apps could be a game-changer for nutrition

These incredible new apps may become the next big disruptors in the food industry. You’ll probably subscribe too. But will they be good for the farm?

Reading Time: 5 minutes Among the many emerging technologies poised to change how we eat and even how we think about food, one of the most explosive could be personalized nutrition. It’s the idea of individual nutrition plans built around a person’s specific physical characteristics. And according to industry watchers, it could be so much more than just a […] Read more

The main atrium at John Deere’s new ISG R&D building in Des Moines, Iowa, is the hub of a unique work environment for engineers and scientists in tech and robotics.

John Deere builds a new home for rare talent

The green brand is on the lookout for 'unicorns' in high-technology fields, and with farm backgrounds

Reading Time: 6 minutes In today’s high-technology world, a new startup tech firm with the potential to go really big is often described as a unicorn. That term is also used to describe a software engineer or skilled programmer with exactly the right background and combination of skills to drive a company forward, simply because both of those are […] Read more


Research proves it. The more digital your business becomes, the more important soft skills are to your success.

The skills you’ll need as farms become more digital

Technology is transforming agriculture at a speed we hardly grasp. Will yours be among the farms that emerge stronger?

Reading Time: 5 minutes In October, Country Guide covered the report “Farmer 4.0: How the Coming Skills Revolution Can Transform Agriculture” published by RBC, with its emphasis on how the era of super-automation will change how we farm. “As Canadian farmers leave traditional tasks to smart machines, and focus on strategy and systems, they’ll be better positioned than ever […] Read more

It’s not enough to say Canadian growers can compete; the regulatory system is in need of an upgrade.

Why farm innovation is faltering

Farmers are being left behind as they get squeezed between new regulations and consumer activism

Reading Time: 8 minutes The turn of the millennium was an amazing time to be involved in agriculture. Technologies like Roundup Ready, LibertyLink and Bt corn hybrids were in their infancy, with the promise of more to come from GMO labs. GPS yield monitors were new too, and the fledgling world of molecular “pharming” and “farmaceuticals” seemed to promise […] Read more


Developed in conjunction with Bosch, the Xarvio Smart Sprayer determines when and what chemical to spray, which requires multiple nozzles or multiple lines to a single nozzle.

Smart sprayer knows which herbicide to apply, and when

BASF’s Xarvio advances application technology

Reading Time: 3 minutes It’s clear that public sentiment about perceived food safety and the environment is beginning to have a significant impact on consumer choices. An easy case in point is the marketing of meatless burgers at fast food chains as a way to save the planet from climate change. In crop production, meanwhile, the use of herbicides […] Read more

IT firms are seeing the potential in agri-food technology and are buying companies or bringing in talent.

Investing in agri-food technology

“A very dismal state of affairs” is how one investor looks at Canada’s ag tech future

Reading Time: 4 minutes San Eng thinks the agri-food technology investment climate in Canada might improve, but a “venture capital ecosystem” must develop quickly or the nation will lose out. “The people I’ve talked to are overlooking the sector — they don’t think it’s sexy enough, which is disappointing because the potential is there,” says the serial entrepreneur who […] Read more