Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network

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Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network

A Network of Smart Farms Improving Smart Ag Technologies

METROS sensor installed at the Glacier FarmMedia Discovery Farm located at Langham, SK.

METOS sensor installed at the Glacier FarmMedia Discovery Farm located at Langham, SK.

The Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network, led by Olds College, is a network of Smart Farms committed to sharing data and expertise that will help farmers, industry and developers better understand, use and develop smart agricultural technologies. 

With $1.1 M from the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN), the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network is an $2.9M initiative, lead by the Olds College Smart Farm and includes Glacier FarmMedia Discovery Farm located at Langham, Saskatchewan and the Lakeland College Student-Managed Farm - Powered by New Holland at Lakeland’s Vermilion campus in eastern Alberta.

Learn more about the launch of the network 

Our Vision: The Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network will accelerate the development and adoption of agriculture technologies across Canada by providing a platform for knowledge transfer and dissemination of information related to utilization of technologies and data for Canadian agriculture. 

Overarching Goal: The overall goal of the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network is to build a collaborative framework among Canada’s Smart Farm initiatives for sharing of data and expertise to help farmers, industry and technology developers better understand, utilize, and develop smart agriculture technologies and systems.

Key outcome: Accelerated development and adoption of smart agriculture technologies which will help producers manage their risk of production, improving the productivity and sustainability of their farms.

Objectives:

  • Be a national leader in the dissemination of information related to agricultural technology development, data utilization, and adoption of practices to improve productivity, sustainability and profitability of food production in Canada

  • Build a network of experts to provide leading edge training and learning opportunities for producers, agronomists, technology developers and students

  • Identify and curate linkages and collaborations among “living labs” that will accelerate the development and adoption of technologies and practices

  • Accelerate the validation of agricultural technologies and disseminate third-party, independent evaluations of agricultural innovations

  • Develop (or produce) a robust and reliable data set of sufficient size for researchers, producers, industry and technology developers to refine existing tools to make them more regionally relevant or develop novel regionally-suited tools

Expanding Across Canada 

Lakeland College research team members install the METOS sensor at the Student-Managed Farm – Powered by New Holland in Vermillion, Alberta.The Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network plans to expand into more geographic regions across Canada and work with many production systems, such as broad acre dryland crop production, irrigated crop production, livestock production, horticulture/greenhouse production, row crop production and value added processing. There will also be opportunities to link the Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network with other Smart Farms around.

To be considered eligible to join the Smart Farm Network, a site must have the capacity to utilize and/or validate agricultural technologies and contribute to the data/information sharing and dissemination focus of the network.

Representative(s) from the site must attend quarterly meetings, participate in network building and sharing of connections, contribute content to quarterly reports, newsletters, present at key events, and contribute to other dissemination platforms that will be shared with producers, technology developers, and the general public, all to the benefit and betterment of the entire Smart Farm Network

In the longer-term, the Smart Farm Network will represent all geographic regions of Canadian agriculture and encompass as many production systems as possible, including broad acre dryland crop production, irrigated crop production, livestock production, horticulture/greenhouse production, row crop production, etc.

Current Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network Projects

Soil, Crop and Climate Sensors

The first project for the network will evaluate the functionality, connectivity and value of data collected from a common suite of sensors measuring soil, climate and crop conditions at sites in three provinces. For Dr. Joy Agnew, Associate Vice-President of Applied Research at Olds College and Principal Investigator for the project, the collaboration across different agriculture zones and land bases brings more depth to the results of the evaluation, and that will benefit farmers and developers.

Olds College research team members install the METOS sensor on the Olds College Smart Farm located at Olds, Ab.“Independent validation of ag technologies is critical and so is ensuring that validation is done using more than a single Smart Farm,” comments Dr. Agnew. “By joining with other partners, we’ll be providing farmers with information that will meaningfully inform their decisions about how and where to use sensor technology.”

Each project site has installed METOS Canada’s wireless sensors and devices that provide data including:

  • field monitoring

  • weather monitoring and forecasting

  • water management

  • disease modelling

  • insect monitoring

  • nutrition management

Some sites will use the data to make on-farm management decisions like timing of fungicide application, and will evaluate the benefit of using data to manage those decisions. 

“We’ve used METOS sensor data in our field-scale projects for a couple of years and now, having access in real time to similar data from other sites in Canada will expand our understanding of its value,” says Blake Weiseth.

As the project continues and additional projects are identified within the network, this page will become the information repository for the network.


Pan-Canadian Smart Farm Network Sites

 Olds College Logo Glacier Farmmedia Discovery Farm  Lakeland College Logo