Category: Technology

Sensor brings new wavelengths to crop scanning for needs-based nitrogen

It only makes sense to apply fertilizer where it’s needed, and only where it’s needed. For a long time, agricultural machinery and technology companies have focused on achieving this goal, including German company Fritzmeier Umwelttechnik. The company’s technology, called the ISARIA Crop Sensor, uses four different wavelengths delivered with LEDs and up to 2000 measurement values per… Read more »

Staking a claim for ag in the social media jungle

Marketing and farming go hand in hand, says UK communications specialist Simon Haley. In a swing through Ontario that starts later this week, he’ll be urging farmers to use their intrinsic marketing skills to get back in touch with consumers. “Farming is where marketing started,” says Haley. But over the years – as nations became… Read more »

DOT launches program to reserve autonomous machines starting in 2019

After unveiling its autonomous field work platform last summer, Saskatchewan-based DOT Technology Corp has opened up a program for potential customers to reserve spots in the production line for the machine. The sister company to SeedMaster sent an email to prospective purchasers this week, explaining how to get in line to buy the U-shaped robot…. Read more »

Automated blossom thinner reduces orchard labour input

If there’s a consistent theme across new agriculture technology over the last few years it’s automation. From driverless tractors, to spot-spraying drones, automation is advancing quickly within the farming sector and for very good reasons. Automation is best suited to replacing repetitive or labour-intensive tasks. It’s also a great fit for when precision matters —… Read more »

Picking winners and losers in the farm data race

Players are going to start dropping out of the race to be the dominant farm data platform sooner than later, says a cropping systems economist who focuses on farm data analytics at Kansas State University. Right now there are still dozens, maybe hundreds, of participants, with agronomy companies, equipment manufacturers, seed and chemical companies, tech… Read more »

Number crunch your way to higher yields

While there are several aspects of farming that are part art, part science, the science part is becoming increasingly easier to measure, manage, and compare. While research has always been a driving force of agronomic decisions, we’re just now starting to see how in-field information can shape decisions, on-the-go. That’s made possible by company’s such… Read more »

SpaceX launch could be a step toward solving the rural internet problem

Slow internet speeds and poor coverage are a major problem in many rural areas. It’s a competitive disadvantage for farmers, ranchers and businesses who generally have no choice but to settle for slower, more expensive internet than people living in urban areas. Traditional internet service providers, unless they’re regulated or funded by government, see little… Read more »

Kinze aims to keep planting simple with new interface

Kinze has traditionally relied on suppliers to provide electronic interface and monitors for its planters, but that all changes with the introduction of the company’s new Blue Vantage monitoring system. Kinze launched the monitor as well as the new Blue Drive row unit electric drive last week at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville,… Read more »

Case IH names 5 categories of autonomy, and a field-scale project

Less than two years after unveiling an autonomous concept tractor, Case IH has announced it will begin testing autonomous technology in-field. The pilot program, according to Brad Lukac director, autonomous vehicles for CASE IH, is about trying to understand customer usability, and what value proposition such technologies offer, all while gaining valuable customer feedback. The program… Read more »

TechTour: Bringing augmented reality to the field

Anyone who has tried to follow directions on a maintenance or repair call via telephone knows how frustrating it can be. Machines are complicated, and, in times of stress, verbal communication isn’t always easy. Amazone’s new SmartService 4.0 is looking to change the way we train and interact with service specialists, as we find out… Read more »

Medical 3D imaging technology adapted to monitor moisture in grain bins

A medical imaging technology developed at the University of Manitoba for breast cancer detection has been adapted for a new application: monitoring grain in storage. The GrainViz system uses a series of electromagnetic antennas mounted around the inside of a grain bin, which generate a real-time 3D image of the contents of the bin. “You… Read more »

Don’t forget about drone battery maintenance over winter

Drones are likely packed away for winter, but now is the time to take them out to perform battery maintenance. The chemistry inside lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries used to power most drones breaks down when kept at full or low charge levels for extended periods of time, reducing battery life and capacity. A battery that… Read more »

Corn School: Understanding 30 years of rising yields

Ontario will set a new corn yield record in 2017 with the crop expected to hit an average of 180 bu/ac or better. Where is all that yield coming from? Corn physiologist Dr. Thijs Tollenaar has poured over the data and identified three key factors driving corn yield improvement. A long-time University of Guelph professor… Read more »

Corn School: Using your drone to make better management decisions

Recent advances in the availability and quality of satellite imagery is providing powerful in-season management insights for corn growers. Many growers feel it’s no longer necessary to fly their own drone to capture aerial images of their fields. They can simply rely on a growing number of agronomic services to scout their crop using drone… Read more »

How sensors and cloud technology are improving milk quality and safety

Sensors and internet cloud technology — a combination sometimes described as the “Internet of Things” — are increasingly being used by farmers to maximize the quality and food safety of their production. The reduced cost of sensors and the ability to connect them to the internet (and users’ smartphones) is enabling new uses for this technology,… Read more »