GFM Network News


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

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


When I pulled up to Don’s wheat field last year on July 6, the first thing I noticed was how yellow the crop was. The crop’s development was also very uneven. For example, some plants were still at the five-leaf stage, while others had the flag leaf out with the head in the boot.

Get ready for drone sprayers

Manitoba company preparing to do custom chemical applications with drones

The use of drones in agriculture seems to gain a little more momentum every season. So far, the jobs they’ve been put to include taking NDVI images and crop scouting, among others. But one Manitoba entrepreneur thinks even with comparatively small payload capacity aerial spraying may be a good fit for the technology. Don Campbell, […] Read more

PHOTOS: Do it with drones

Harvest timing, fertilizer application, elevation mapping — drones are putting new information in farmers’ hands

Farmers are buying drones, but often they can’t use the technology to its full potential, says Matt Johnnson. And new drone operators need to research the options available and safety requirements before flying, he adds. Johnson owns M3 Aerial Productions, based in Winnipeg. A math teacher by profession, he started using drones for real estate […] Read more


Matthew Johnson of M3 Aerial Productions with the UAVs his company uses to capture images to determine hay crop quality.

Drone image reveals best cutting day

Infrared aerial photo technology senses when alfalfa quality is prime

The Manitoba Forage and Grassland Association (MFGA) and M3 Aerial Productions are teaming up to investigate whether unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) ­— also known as drones — can be used to enhance the MFGA’s Green Gold Program, which provides producers with the best first-cut date for alfalfa crops. The MFGA offers the Green Gold program, which […] Read more

This is what is known as an NDVI image (normalized difference vegetation index) of an on-farm, field-scale soybean trial. This trial, with different treatment strips across the field, was looking at using a pre-seeding herbicide, such as a granular which was incorporated, compared to a glyphosate treatment. In some areas where the pre-seeding product was ineffective they went back in with an in-crop herbicide treatment which in some areas damaged the crop. The mostly green area is a relatively healthy crop with the strips indicating different treatments. The red areas show problems in the field. The headlands may indicate a different crop or different type of vegetation, or higher compaction. The larger red patches on the upper left hand side show areas that have likely been flooded out or have a disease problem. The yellow areas indicate crop that has been damaged by in-crop herbicide. There is a powerline or pipeline right away cutting diagonally across the upper right hand side of the photo.

Digital pictures: They’re worth a thousand steps

Ground truthing is important, but aerial imagery can tell stories you can’t see with the eye

You can’t beat an eye in the sky when it comes to telling you what’s happening on the ground with your crop, says a longtime Iowa crop management specialist. Different types of aerial imagery that show visual differences during the growing season can be an extremely valuable tool for pointing to shortfalls or successes concerning […] Read more


Ford and drone developer DJI are looking to integrate UAV control into a pickup’s digital system for a variety of future applications, including agriculture.

A Ford F150 sync’d to your UAV?

Ford issues a new “Drone-to-vehicle developer challenge” to software engineers

James Bond has his special Aston Martin car complete with ejection seat and all kinds of high-tech gizmos. If Ford has its way, farmers may soon have an F150 pickup at their disposal that would make Q, Bond’s car creator, proud. Ford has been working with drone developer DJI and the two companies have launched […] Read more

The Solo AGCO Edition UAV was introduced last August.

Flying Solo: the new AGCO craft

AGCO takes to the air, introducing its own UAV designed for field scouting

In August AGCO surprised a few people by introducing its own UAV, the Solo AGCO Edition, which is a rotary craft designed for field scouting. “We thought through everything a farmer needs to not only scout their fields, but also collect useful data beneficial to managing their farm and improving yields and efficiency,” says Jeff […] Read more