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Smart Farm Applied Research Projects

Primarily focused on five main areas of applied research — autonomous agricultural equipment, sensors, data utilization, technology development and validation, and regenerative agriculture — the Smart Farm is working towards providing producers with real-life applied research to help them make informed decisions about implementing technology in their own operations.

Smart Ag Research

  • Analyzing Soil Moisture Probe Measurements for Moisture Deficiency

    Image of a Soil Moisture Probe for Moisture Deficiency

    Working alongside Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (ASFC), Olds College is conducting research to determine if soil moisture measurements captured by soil sensing probes can be used in the estimations of forage yield potential....more

  • Autonomous Agriculture Equipment

    The Raven OMNiPOWER™ platform represents a significant first-step towards autonomy applied to agricultural operations. ...more

  • Bin Monitoring: TeleSense

    Olds College is evaluating the TeleSense Spider product, a technology for the remote monitoring of commodity storage in bins, and its user interface to provide unbiased information on the functionality and general experience working with the product. ...more

  • Bio-Agtive Emissions Farming Small Plot Trials

    Cattle in field

    The Bio-Agtive Method is an innovative bio agtech approach which entails emission capture technology and re-purposing of biofuel exhaust emissions into a carbon-based biofertilizer. ...more

  • Bushel Plus Harvest Loss Monitoring

    Bushel Plus provides a complete combine loss measurement system designed to quickly and accurately quantify harvest loss to assist in the calibration of combine settings during harvest....more

  • ChrysaLabs Soil Nutrient Probe Evaluation

    Olds College is evaluating the functionality, effectiveness and experience of ChrysaLabs soil nutrient probe in numerous field types and environmental conditions (soil moisture, soil temperature, ambient temperature, frozen soil)....more

  • Comparable Autonomous Data Collection

    Two farming vehicles on the Smart Farm

    Team members are performing Comparable Autonomous Data Collection with an electronic data acquisition instrument called Somat-eDAQ. ...more

  • Comparisons of In-Field MicroClimate Variability & External Weather Stations

     In-Field MicroClimate Station on the Smart Farm

    Pan Canadian Smart Farm Network members — Olds College, Discovery Farms and Lakeland College — are conducting research to compare data collected from weather sensors within the field to outside the crop boundary to produce multiple data sets for analysis....more

  • CropScan

    The Crop Scan 3300H Grain Analyzer is an agricultural digital technology that is installed on the college’s combine, and is capable of measuring protein and moisture content of harvested grain, oil seeds, and pulse crops in near-real time. ...more

  • element 4 IoT Sensor Technology

    element 4 Sensor

    element 4 produces self-powered, wireless modular sensor technology that is adaptable to most environments. Olds College of Agriculture & Technology is working alongside element 4 to further improve and develop their IoT devices and autonomous sensors — featuring unique energy harvesting and storage technologies — for use in commercial settings....more

  • Evaluation of the MINS Process for Carbon Credits

    Mobile Inelastic Neutron Scattering in the Field

    Carbon Assets Solutions (CAS) is a new Canadian company that uses Mobile Inelastic Neutron Scattering (MINS) technology to determine carbon content in soils that may help producers access carbon credits....more

  • Exploring Soil Moisture, Weather & Forage Biomass Relationships

    Image of a Soil Sample

    Olds College is performing a historical data correlation analysis in partnership with Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) to learn from existing data sources what variables matter most to forage growth....more

  • Hail Damage Classification Using Drones

    Olds College and Agriculture Financial Services Corporation (AFSC) are continuing their work together to determine if high definition imaging from unmanned aircraft vehicles (drones) can be used to classify hail damaged areas within crop fields. ...more

  • In-Bin Drying: Top Grade Ag

    The In-Bin Drying Monitor is a technology developed by Top Grade Ag that uses a proprietary algorithm with pressure, temperature and humidity sensors to optimize grain drying procedures. ...more

  • In-Field Measurements for a Yield Prediction Model

    In-Field Measurements for a Yield Prediction Model in the Smart Farm

    Olds College is collecting a data package of weather information and crop measurements for Metos Canada to validate their yield calculator, and provide additional measurements to further develop the algorithm into a crop growth model. ...more

  • Remote Sensing Techniques in Lease Reclamations

    Man on the farm controlling a drone

    Olds College is evaluating the potential of using remote sensing technology to aid in the completion of Detailed Site Assessments (DSAs). The College is investigating if the use of satellite and RPAS imagery can be used in the vegetation assessment component of cultivated DSAs....more

  • Rural Connectivity Project: Zetifi

    Rural Connectivity Project: Zetifi - Telus

    Olds College of Agriculture & Technology, TELUS Business and TELUS Agriculture are researching solutions to improve cellular service in rural Alberta to better utilize smart ag technology in the future. Currently researchers are assessing the effectiveness of the Zetifi ZetiCell and ZetiRover technologies in improving connectivity by LTE to WiFi technology in a typical rural prairie setting....more

  • Saskatchewan Smart Farm Field Data Collection

    Olds College is working with local Saskatchewan partners to gather historical and current information from the fields on the Saskatchewan Smart Farm for baseline data collection. ...more

  • Snow Acres Soil Moisture Sensor

    Olds College is assessing the second version of the Snow Acres Canada soil moisture sensor system “The Well” as it’s in the final stages of product development....more

  • Soil Sensor Cluster

    Olds College is comparing the accuracy and functionality of soil sensors and their capabilities to measure soil properties, such as moisture and salinity, to allow for faster and informed decision making. ...more

  • Spornado

    Olds College is evaluating how the Spornado Sampler contributes to the canola fungicide application decision process. The College will evaluate how Spornado lab results influence the timing, speed, ease, confidence, and final recommendation of the fungicide application decision making process in canola....more

  • Variable Rate Technology Economic Modelling

    Fertilizer being poured from a truck

    Olds College is working with TELUS Agriculture on assessing the return on investment of variable rate technology (VRT) which is a precision-ag approach allowing producers to manage defined areas of their fields differently. ...more

  • VR Application of Nitrogen & Impact on Emissions

    Truck full of Nitrogen in a field

    In partnership with TELUS Agriculture, researchers are evaluating variable rate technology (VRT) for fertilizer applications on the Smart Farm with a focus on nitrogen....more

  • WeatherFlow Tempest Validation

    Telus Tempest Sensor on the Smart Farm

    Olds College is assessing the WeatherFlow Tempest Weather station on the Smart Farm in partnership with TELUS Agriculture. Researchers will provide an evaluation of Tempest data accuracy (rainfall, wind speed and direction, and temperature)...more

  • Weather Station Array

    The Weather Station Array provides a comparison of functionality, platform navigation, installation/uninstallation, reliability of data, user experience, and connectivity of commercially available weather stations. ...more

  • xarvio SCOUTING: Verifying Disease Recognition Tool in Cereals

    Student scouting in-field Accuracy

    Olds College is performing in-field accuracy assessments of the disease recognition tool within xarvio SCOUTING — a mobile app designed to assist producers with the identification and diagnosis of in-field stressors. ...more


  • Weather Station Comparative Study

    Olds College Smart Farm deploys numerous weather stations for farm management decisions, research, and demonstration purposes. ...more

  • VRT In-Field Fungicide/Desiccant Trial

    Olds College is conducting in-field trials for fungicide/desiccant variable rate technology (VRT) applications to determine how they affect production costs, profitability, and operational requirements. ...more

  • Soil Nutrient Sensor Evaluation

    Olds College is gathering independent data on the functionality and accuracy of soil nutrient sensors over a two-year period. ...more

  • Disease Risk Utility Monitoring

    Olds College is working with METOS Canada on their platform utility for sclerotinia disease prediction modelling in canola by collecting data with multiple Pessl Metos in-field weather stations. ...more

Livestock Research

Completed Livestock Projects

  • Heifer Development - Handling Acclimation

    Olds College is studying the effects of different handling acclimation procedures prior to the breeding season on reproductive performance, reactivity at handling, and physiological indicator of stress assessed in beef heifers. ...more

  • Grazing Management

    The grazing management project was established to evaluate and demonstrate the use of various remote grazing management technologies. ...more

  • Crop Cocktail

    Research includes testing different seed mixes in pastures to improve soil health, increase plant diversity, and provide adequate nutrition for cattle. ...more

Digital Ag Research

  • HyperLayer Data Concept

    Hyperlayer Data Concept

    The HyperLayer Data Concept is a process that allows the Olds College Smart Farm to compile, analyze, and use virtually every type of agricultural data. ...more

Completed Digital Ag Projects

Crop Research

  • Optical Spot Spraying


    WEED-IT is a precision sprayer designed to apply herbicide directly on weeds and avoid wastage. The goal is helping producers reduce herbicide use and subsequently costs related to herbicide application. ...more

  • Small Plot Crop Research

    Crop research, small plot trials or full field investigations, is key to Old’s College crops research portfolio.

    Crop research, small plot trials or full field investigations, is key to Olds College crop research portfolio. ...more

Completed Crop Research Projects

Academics/Student Led

  • Cultivated DSA - Olds College Student Project

    Olds College students perform Detailed Site Assessments (DSA) for reclamation certificates from start to finish in mock cultivated DSA scenarios.

    Olds College students perform Detailed Site Assessments (DSA) for reclamation certificates from start to finish in mock cultivated DSA scenarios. ...more

  • Pasture/Range Health Assessments

    Pitstra Pasture land view

    Olds College has embarked on a series of Regenerative Agriculture strategies at Pitstra Farm (degraded due to overgrazing) to modify the land, increase biodiversity of flora/fauna, increase yield and stocking rates, and improve the ecosystem function. ...more

  • Pasture Renovation - Delong West Pasture

    Graphic showing the tillage practice comparisons

    This project compares tillage practices — fall, spring and no-till (direct seeding) — and their impacts on yield, economic returns and field management practices when rotating out of perennial forages and into annual crops. ...more

  • Pest Monitoring: Canola

    Pest management bin at the Smart Farm

    Olds College is collecting data for the Alberta Insect Pest Monitoring Network Program for two major insect pests of canola across the Prairies, Diamondback Moth (Plutella xylostella) and Bertha Armyworm (Mamestra configurata). ...more

  • Pre Disturbance Site Assessment - Olds College Student Project

    Olds College students perform pre-disturbance or pre-construction site assessments to mitigate potential adverse environmental impacts due to a proposed industrial activity.

    Olds College students perform pre-disturbance or pre-construction site assessments to mitigate potential adverse environmental impacts due to a proposed industrial activity. ...more

Completed Academic/Student Led Projects