This image shows how AAFC is using machine learning to design sampling locations, based on predictive soil maps. This is on the Upper Medway Watershed within the Thames River basin.

Information from above

The quest is on to obtain more detailed soil type and topography data on Ontario croplands from satellites

If farm agencies in Ontario were to make an information wish list, it would likely include detailed and up-to-date soil and topographical data. This information would, among other things, help farmers to achieve higher yields through better crop management, says Ontario Federation of Agriculture President Keith Currie. Why it matters: Ontario’s soil maps are many […] Read more

Five days late emerging corn was shown to have a 33 per cent decrease in ear weight.

Seed placement is key to ensure highest yield potential

Uniform germination leads to uniform emergence and ultimately a uniform high-end yield potential

The farmer’s pass through the field with the planter is the pass that sets the yield, say planting experts. How the seed is planted and the conditions in which it is planted have a direct effect on the uniformity of the stand. Under ideal conditions these aspects lead to a greater yield. Why it matters: […] Read more

Variable rate fertilizer still has some detractors, but it has its place where fertility is variable.

Variable land good place to start with variable rate fertilizer

Best strategies, hiring custom operators or DIY

Farmers on land that’s variable in soil type, such as southwest of London, are likely already thinking about variable rate fertilizer application. Darryl Boersma, who farms a large number of acres in Mt. Brydges southwest of London, has been doing variable rate for 17 years. “This whole area is pretty variable, one of the more […] Read more

Crop health maps help identify areas of concern in the field.

Small investments, big gains

Where to start with free and low-cost precision ag tools – and why

For producers looking to dip their toes into the precision agriculture pool for little cost and potentially substantial rewards, help is here. The big advantages precision agriculture can provide are mostly well-known. In short, information is power. Why it matters: There are some lower-cost entry points into precision agriculture for farmers who want to try […] Read more

Andria Karstens of Climate FieldView.

Whether you trust it or not, precision agriculture is here to stay

Many farmers continue not to use precision agriculture tools because of trust concerns and complexity challenges

Precision agriculture is designed to help growers obtain planting and harvest data, satellite imagery, drone images and soil data and bring that all together in a way that’s easy to use, says Andria Karstens with Climate Fieldview at the 2019 Precision Agriculture Conference and Ag Technology Showcase held recently in London. It’s great information in […] Read more

Ann Vermeersch and her family use variable rate technology especially for lime application on their farm.

Measuring savings from variable rate

Farmers suggest finding areas on the farm where precision technology makes sense

Sometimes new tech is employed for what some farmers dub “the cool factor.” For most, though, the adoption of precision farming strategies largely relies on a rather dogged question – namely, does it pay? In many cases the answer remains elusive. This reality has been cited as a major contributing factor to slow rate of […] Read more

Palmer amaranth.

Weed survival can be predicted via imagery

Researchers using imagery to predict viability of Palmer amaranth

Researchers are putting imaging technology to work to improve weed management practices. Maor Matzrafi of the department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis, has been evaluating the use of hyperspectral imaging technology to assess germination and herbicide response in Palmer amaranth. Why it matters: Weed resistance to glyphosate, a broad spectrum herbicide, […] Read more

SWAC 2019 conference: The Road Ahead

What to see and look for at the 2019 Southwest Agricultural Conference

Producers attending the 2019 Southwest Agricultural Conference will have their agronomic and farm business mind stimulated. The conference, with the theme: The Road Ahead is coming to the University of Guelph’s Ridgetown Campus on Jan. 3-4. Speakers will share the latest on topics ranging from nutrient management to marketing, compaction to pest management, precision agriculture […] Read more

Yield and remote sense mapping can help determine profitable and money-losing areas of farms.

Can it pay to stop farming unproductive land?

Taking underperforming areas of a field out of production can support farm profitability and conservation, say researchers

Can some farmers increase their profitability by not working underperforming parts of the field? Researchers at the University of Guelph think so. According to those researchers, combining conservation with crop production on a field-by-field level can better serve both the environment and producers’ bottom lines. Why it matters: Consistently underperforming areas of a farm hurt […] Read more

The ‘Smart Soils’ panel at the Ag 4.0.2 conference included Jordanna Kalis from SoilOptix, Taylor Vokes from Sprucedale Agromart and Jake Kraayenbrink, owner of Agbrink. The panel was moderated by Keith Reid (r), a local farmer and the Alternative Land Use Services program co-ordinator for Grey-Bruce.

Making technology work for healthier soil

Farmers have to make decisions on which soil-health technologies they want to adopt

Building and maintaining soil health increasingly involves technology. The challenge for farmers is deciding which approach they invest in to monitor and maintain their soil health. Three different approaches using technology to solve soil health problems were presented at the Grey County’s third annual Ag 4.0.2 conference held Nov. 1, 2018 in Meaford. Why it […] Read more