Smart Farm

Olds CollegeSmart Farm

Imagine being able to diagnose the health of a crop by simply uploading a picture of the plant. The picture is then cross-referenced on an artificial intelligence (AI) platform with other data, such as weather and soil data gathered from sensors in the soil. Within seconds a diagnosis of the crop health is provided and real time solutions are available through a device or connection with a crop expert. Now imagine doing all of that in the middle of a field, where the wifi internet connection is the same strength as an office building in downtown Calgary. This is the future vision for the Olds College Smart Farm. 

The Olds College Smart Farm creates a cutting edge learning environment for our students and lifelong learners by providing a hands-on venue for industry to develop, integrate and test new agriculture technology and practices.   

Working in a phased approach with our partners from the agriculture and technology sectors, we are transforming our existing farm operation into a farm of the future. The first phase of this transformation will focus on converting 110 acres of our cropland.

"Through the proliferation of technology, big data and the application of tools such as digital sensors, controls, artificial intelligence and machine learning, we believe that our post-secondary environment can be an aggregator of knowledge, expertise and communities for teaching and learning, skills development and applied research. We will accomplish this by establishing a leading demonstration farm and learning environment, focused on the future of agriculture."

Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College 

Phase One - Crop Technology

Phase one of the Smart Farm focuses on crops. Working with industry partners from the agriculture and technology sectors, we are incorporating the latest technologies aimed at improving productivity while efficiently and sustainably using resources. The goal is to produce more, using less. 110 acres of our current farm will be transformed into the Smart Farm by:

  • installing stationary soil monitors
  • installing digital weather stations
  • evaluating soil and crops using spectroscopy and multispectral imaging along with artificial intelligence neural nets to help determine the differences in healthy and unhealthy plants, and the causes for health deterioration
  • installing wireless grain bin sensors
  • installing a wireless mesh network that will provide wi-fi to the entire farm
  • equipment monitoring and control for best practice precision agriculture, including the use of monitors and controls on contractor equipment to gather data.
  • the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles)
  • installing rural narrowband connectivity to will ensure high quality internet connectivity
  • incorporating farm management software platforms that gather, store, and visualize production and management data
  • utilizing data analytics, machine learning, and AI to turn data into information, and information into knowledge
  • partnering with expert agronomists who will serve as agronomic coaches to help analyze the data

The Olds College Smart Farm will expand to encompass the entire Olds College Farm, with phase two focusing on livestock.

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Thank you to our Olds College Smart Farm Partners

Farm Credit CanadaTelusUFA
  • Trimble