Producers can use a variable rate program to reduce inputs in poorperforming areas.

Precision ag helps farmers find their best acres

Farming all the acres the same can result in potentially failing the better ones and over-investing in the worst

Reading Time: 4 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Implementing precision agriculture strategies doesn’t have to be overwhelming. “Don’t not do something because it’s not perfect because we’re never going to get perfect,” said Terry Aberhart, owner of Sure Growth Technologies. When Aberhart started training and educating people through his independent agronomy consulting company, he strived to teach a comprehensive understanding […] Read more

Variable-rate application is more prominent in Ontario than Western Canada due to more use of custom operators in Ontario.

Economics around variable-rate fertilizer challenging

The reasons variable-rate application has had lower adoption is a lesson for new ag technologies

Reading Time: 3 minutes There are good financial reasons that variable-rate application of nutrients hasn’t taken off like automated guidance. Guidance systems for farm equipment ensure complete coverage without overlap, University of Guelph Professor Alfons Weersink told the 2020 FarmSmart Conference recently at the university. That means savings of $8 per acre for planting. That’s enough to make it […] Read more

Having multiple ways of measuring data – such as drones, satellite and yield maps — helps to make sure of accuracy.

Turning precision ag data into profits

Some farmers are convinced of the value as long as they have the tools to manage it

Reading Time: 6 minutes Adam DeVisser is a recent convert to using precision agriculture, but he’s practical about its application. “The value is not in computers making decisions for us, but in us making more informed decisions,” he says. Why it matters: Using technology and collecting data can really help producers’ bottom lines, but only if they plan it […] Read more

Sarah Marquis, left and Emily Duncan, masters and PhD students at the University of Guelph.

Clarifying data ownership for higher ROI

Researchers says greater ownership of data could help bring down barriers

Reading Time: 3 minutes University of Guelph researchers say farmers and agribusiness people need greater clarity on data ownership issues when it comes to the adoption of precision technologies. Sarah Marquis and Emily Duncan, a masters and PhD student at the school, presented this thesis at the recent Precision Agriculture Conference and Technology Showcase in London. Why it matters: […] Read more

Farmers have different approaches toward technology depending upon their general approach to farming, including whether they are risk-maximizers or risk-minimizers, as well as how long they intend to keep farming.

When should farmers embrace new technology?

Farmers have different approaches toward tech, but it has to pay

Reading Time: 2 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – When should farmers embrace the bold technologies that promise to transform their farms? “Figure out when they pay,” said Kansas State University agricultural economist Terry Griffin. Why it matters: Farmers are being bombarded by new technology, forcing them into decisions about what technology to use and what to reject. The simple economic […] Read more

Guelph researchers seek farmer input on precision ag technology

Reading Time: < 1 minute University of Guelph researchers want to hear from farmers about their use of precision agriculture technologies. A research team of University of Guelph graduate students in the Geography, Environment and Geomatics Department is conducting the survey. The lead researcher is master’s candidate Sarah Marquis and the lead academic advisory is Evan Fraser. Results will be […] Read more

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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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

Reading Time: 3 minutes 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