The opportunities are many, but the technical limitations to rolling out huge data speeds in rural areas remain daunting.

5G and the future of farming

The challenges of moving a new technology into rural areas could create new partnerships and opportunities

Reading Time: 6 minutes Users of the Samsung Galaxy S20 phone will be the first to have access to 5G technology in Canada. Rural residents and farmers will have to wait much longer – if the technology ever arrives. Rogers announced in early March that it is rolling out 5G networks in Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal, with 20 […] Read more

The sensor unit in a greenhouse.

Smart sensors come to greenhouses

Reading Time: < 1 minute Autogrow has released a wireless smart sensor giving greenhouse operators high-density microclimate data which can help improve yield, quality and decision making. The Folium sensor gathers environmental data including temperature, humidity, CO2, PAR, RAD and barometric pressure, which growers can view on a heatmap — immediately seeing differences across their grow areas. “We’ve advocated for […] Read more

The Open Food Network started in Australia, but now has funders from Ontario.

Open Food Network targets small-scale e-commerce

Not-for-profit platform now available in 12 countries

Reading Time: 3 minutes Food, unincorporated. That’s the tagline atop the website of the Canadian version of a 12-country digital commerce platform for small-scale farmers. Theresa Schumilas of Open Food Network (OFN) Canada, told those attending a Jan. 25 seminar at the Guelph Organic Conference that the platform is free for those selling less than $500 in produce per […] 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

The DeLaval V310 unit includes automatic pregnancy testing and heat monitoring.

Reproduction testing added to robotic milking

The option is available on the VMS V310 from DeLaval

Reading Time: 2 minutes DeLaval has created a simpler version of its on-farm milk-testing system, integrating pregnancy and heat monitoring in its new V310 robotic milking system. The DeLaval VMS V310 alerts farmers when cows are coming into heat and when cows are testing as pregnant due to their progesterone levels. An algorithm determines when a cow needs to […] 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

Tractor with a view - Brigade’s Backeye360 merges images from ultra-wide-angle cameras, resulting in a sythentic overall bird’s-eye view of sewn together camera shots that is presented as a single image on the nine-inch screen.

Better system visibility could boost farm safety

Sensors help when eyes can’t see everything from a tractor seat

Reading Time: 3 minutes Glacier FarmMedia – Canada had 843 farm fatalities between 2003 and 2012, of which 600 involved implements. More than 17 per cent of all deaths were run-overs attributed to drivers not seeing the victim. The large implements used in farming can prevent the operator from completely seeing the perimeters of the machine. Design of modern […] Read more

Precision irrigation requires good soil moisture and weather information.

Agriculture technology aimed at many farm levels

Large technology companies aren’t just targeting North American farms with innovations

Reading Time: 3 minutes Agriculture technology and solutions are increasingly driven by the need to solve problems in poorer and less-food-secure areas of the world. Companies developing technology are keeping both traditional farms and developing farms in mind because it is the socially responsible thing to do and because both are serious business markets. Why it matters: A focus […] Read more


Dr. Xiuming Hao, left, AAFC/Harrow, Shalin Khosla, OMAFRA greenhouse vegetable specialist and Kenneth Tran, Microsoft Research principal applied scientist, at the Harrow Research and Development Centre.

Artificial intelligence could create efficiency and reliability in greenhouses

Canadian researchers say fewer managers are needed to run greenhouses with their system

Reading Time: 2 minutes Microsoft Research, with help from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, won the first Autonomous Greenhouse Challenge in 2018 with Project Sonoma — a system to operate greenhouses efficiently and reliably, while enabling greenhouse controls from remote areas. Wageningen University and Research, in Wageningen, Netherlands, and corporate sponsor Trencent challenged researchers, scientists and experts to build the […] Read more

Milking systems, especially, are providing more data on dairy farms.

The uncertain future of dairy data governance

Farmers advised to ask questions when buying new technology

Reading Time: 4 minutes With high-tech robot barns leading the way, and many dairy farmers with older-style milking systems adding sensors, the collection of real-time data about cow care has exploded in the past few years. The rapid increase of sensors and in-barn artificial intelligence (AI) has given rise to new issues previously not considered. Why it matters: Dairy […] Read more