Category: Technology

FarmLead launches new basis negotiation feature

FarmLead, North America’s Grain Marketplace, announced today the launch of the FarmLead Basis Negotiation feature on its leading trade platform. The new feature allows buyers and sellers to post and negotiate basis contracts in addition to the existing options of cash contracts. The announcement complements the company’s continued expansion across North America. The new feature… Read more »

Fight for GMOs hits the big screen in ‘Food Evolution’

It’s easier to scare people than reassure them. That’s how environmental activist Mark Lynas frames the debate around the safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMOs have their supporters and their detractors, all fighting for or against the technology, and in the middle is a very confused and distrusting public. That’s the narrative director Scott… Read more »

Slow rural internet speed is our competitive disadvantage

Excuse my ranting, but I am so frustrated with slow rural internet. In fact I am getting to the point of pure outrage on most days in trying to function without reasonably fast internet as we try to run a media company from a rural farm office. The scary thing is that I am not… Read more »

Should ‘vertical’ factory farms get a free pass?

In a recent Fast Company magazine article there was a feature on the benefits of using technology to produce food. The article praised the efficiency gains made by implementing the latest in what technology could provide. The farm in the article is located in San Francisco. That’s right, it’s a vertical farm. The company’s name… Read more »

Uber launches Uber Freight to disrupt the trucking industry

Just as people in smaller cities are getting the opportunity to experience the ride-sharing service Uber, the company is launching a new way to get a load of freight hauled. Uber Freight is launching in the United States, providing a way for drivers and customers to get hitched through an Uber-based service. According to the Uber blog: Uber… Read more »

We can thank technology for 24% of the U.S. corn crop being planted in one week

Have you ever looked across the road at the neighbour and thought, “Man, he has a lot of equipment for the acres he farms!” I think that conversation must be happening more than we think because the USDA has reported that corn planting is 71% complete in the U.S. That’s 1% ahead of the long-term… Read more »

TechTour: Using solar energy to power irrigation pivots

The way we farm is continuously changing, including the way farms with irrigated acres power their irrigation pivots. The idea of using solar energy to help offset the cost of operating pivots once seemed foreign, but there’s growing interest some early adopters have setup solar installations. Merlinds Farms Ltd, near Grassy Lake, Alta. was the first in… Read more »

Will small-holder agriculture leapfrog ahead with access to precision agriculture technology?

I often think that when we discuss precision agriculture we tend to naturally focus on large broadacre-style farming across the U.S. Midwest corn belt, Ontario, and the western Canadian prairies. We don’t seem to talk about how precision agriculture technology could create a difference in small-holder agriculture. Clearly, auto-steer is not something you must have when… Read more »

Survey shows gap between precision data collection and use

Precision agriculture counts on not only data collection, but also on data management as well. And while a new survey of 700 farmers across Canada shows most producers are indeed gathering agronomic data electronically, many are not yet using that data for management purposes. The survey, which took place over three weeks in November and… Read more »

Presenting on the future of food and agriculture technology to Bill Gates

Who is the most memorable person that you have had a chance to interact with? How about one of the wealthiest, most successful business people of a generation? This week in Seattle, Washington, Rob Saik of Trimble Ag Software (Agri-Trend) was invited to a symposium to present on the future of ag technology at the headquarters of… Read more »

Monsanto Cancels Deal to Sell Precision Planting to Deere

Monsanto, the parent company of The Climate Corporation, has cancelled its deal to sell Climate’s Precision Planting equipment business to Deere & Company. The agreement, which was announced in November 2015, was delayed by a U.S. Department of Justice legal challenge. “We are deeply disappointed in this outcome as we remain confident the acquisition would… Read more »

Creating a ‘Silicon Valley’ for Food in Ontario

Around the globe, agriculture and food systems produce about 2,850 calories per person per day. That’s enough to feed the world explains University of Guelph professor Evan Fraser, but unfortunately we still have 800 million people who are undernourished. Even more perplexing is the fact that we have 2 billion people who struggle with being… Read more »

TechTour: More Than Photos — The Many Applications of the UAV

Pretty field pictures and awesome harvest videos aside, drones, or UAVs, are proving their worth on the farm through field scouting and development of management zones for precision farming applications. But there are many that see drones as an overblown camera or a fun toy, not fully recognizing the present usefulness and future potential of the… Read more »

Do You Need a Commercial License for that Drone?

Recently, the federal government released “emergency” rules regarding recreational use of drones (UAVs), significantly restricting where and when drones could be used. Citing a 200% increase in commercial flight incidents with drones in just two years, the transport minister says the new rules begin immediately, with fines of up to $3,000 for violations. Commercial drone pilots already… Read more »

Transport Minister Unveils New Recreational Drone Rules

New rules for the recreational use of drones in Canada were announced by Transport Minister Marc Garneau on Thursday. The number of incidents involving recreational drones has more than tripled since 2014, according to Transport Canada. The changes immediately apply to model aircraft and drones that weigh between 250g and 35kg. “I take very seriously the… Read more »