GFM Network News


Alberta producer Matt Vossepoel uses a drone — like the one that produced this image for counting animals out on rangeland — to check his 800-head of cattle and to find sick animals or issues at calving time.

Farmers weigh in on drone benefits

How producers from Alberta and Saskatchewan use their drones on the farm

Matt Vossepoel bought his first drone, a DJI Mavic 2 with a thermal camera, two years ago so he could check on his 800-head of cattle and find sick animals or animals he couldn’t always see easily due to the terrain of his farm. Before long, he was using it during calving to check for […] Read more

Drones can be used for all kinds of on-farm trials. Pictured above is a drone image to evaluate standability in a wheat variety trial.

Twelve uses for your drone

From flood documentation to weed control, farmers are putting their drones to good use

When remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS), or drones, first started appearing on the market, it was thought their uses in agriculture would be mainly limited to third-party companies farmers would hire to fly over their fields and to analyze and provide information collected by those drones. However, today it is mainly farmers purchasing and using […] Read more


Markus Weber, president of LandView Drones, is flying a small, portable MAVIC 2 Zoom drone, which he says is an ideal drone for farmers to start with.

Tips to help you choose your first drone

Where to begin your drone search, resources and costs

Markus Weber answers questions about drones all the time. He is president of Landview Drones and he runs an Ag Drone School to help farmers get started with, and get the most out of, their drones. For less than $3,000, farmers can dip their toes into the drone arena. “When they’re starting out, most farmers […] Read more

The Robocrop Spot Sprayer can distinguish clumps of weeds in a minimum target area of 40 millimetres.

Emerging sprayer technologies

Drone and intelligent sprayers improve accuracy, efficiency and reduce costs

Self-propelled (high clearance) sprayers with low-drift nozzles might be the norm on farms across North America but emerging technologies are expected to change how crop protection products are applied. “Our farms are growing, our use of crop protection agents is growing and we have a labour shortage,” says Tom Wolf, a sprayer expert and scientist […] Read more


Drone provides a new field perspective

Ground truthing is still important, but drones can identify problem areas

Randi Wenzel says even basic operation of a drone over annual crops and pastures on their south-central Saskatchewan mixed farm provides some very useful management information, along with some peace of mind. Wenzel, who farms with family members south of Central Butte, has been flying a drone during the cropping and grazing seasons for the […] Read more

Drones to be tested against Africa’s locust swarms

U.N.'s FAO testing drones to detect, spray pests

Nairobi | Thomson Reuters Foundation — The United Nations is to test drones equipped with mapping sensors and atomizers to spray pesticides in parts of east Africa battling an invasion of desert locusts that are ravaging crops and exacerbating a hunger crisis. Hundreds of millions of the voracious insects have swept across Ethiopia, Somalia and […] Read more


A drone equipped with a camera can be used to check remote watering systems, scan fencelines or check gates.

Drones. How did we farm without them?

Hart Attacks: Drone school explained how flying cameras can change the cattle business

I know I shouldn’t be amazed by anything that has to do with new technology, but it seems I always am. I recently spent part of a day at a central Alberta drone school —primarily geared to beef producers — and came away thinking it just never ends. So there I was in a community […] Read more

Thompson Rivers University student Chris Solecki testing out a drone which columnist Roy Lewis says can play a practical role in livestock management.

Using new technology to monitor cattle

Animal Health: Stationary cameras and drones can be used in many ways


Technology has advanced for monitoring the health of cattle both at calving time and on pasture. Two operations I deal with during the calving season have used advanced cameras in the last several years. I have also seen demonstrations and heard a few presentations on drones for checking and monitoring cattle. It appears to be […] Read more



Climate Corp. to partner with Canadian drone data firm

In a bid to bring its eye-in-the-sky views of clients’ fields closer to Earth, Monsanto’s Climate Corp. has struck up a partnership with a Canadian drone data provider. Climate on Nov. 15 announced an “official” partnership with Toronto-based Deveron UAS, which operates a fleet of drones serving farm clients across North America, to deliver “advanced” […] Read more