Smart Farm Projects


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.

  • AgSmart

    AgSmart Exposition and Demonstration

    AgSmart is a two-day, hands-on demonstration and education event focused on technology and data across the agriculture sector – how to gather it, and how to use it to enhance productivity and profits. Farmers get to interact with cutting-edge, high-tech ag players and experience the latest innovations first-hand. ...more

  • Animal Identification using Artificial Intelligence

    Animal Identification using Artificial Intelligence

    Using artificial intelligence for individual animal identification is a novel concept that Olds College is exploring with an industrial client. If successful, producers will be able to identify animals within their herds using images or videos collected from the ground or air, which could have applications to automated illness detection or animal traceability. ...more

  • Assessing Overlap Reduction from Sectional Control Systems

    A case study using as-applied data and the defined process to determine the percent overlap reduction for an actual or theoretical field will help summarize the effect of carbon pricing and sectional

    Olds College is reviewing existing precision Ag and GIS software systems to determine the percent overlap reduction based on as-applied or task data from equipment typically used for sectional control applications in Western Canada. ...more

  • Autonomous Agriculture Equipment

    DOT Autonomous

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

  • Pitstra Connectivity Project

    The College is capturing GPS coordinates and signal strength from the tower to help TELUS improve rural connectivity for practical implementation and use.

    Olds College and TELUS are researching solutions for rural connectivity. TELUS installed a 4G/LTE Solar Repeater Tower on Pitstra Farm, a remote section of the Smart Farm, where dead zones for cellular service exist. ...more

  • Crop Cocktail

    Cattle at feed station

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

  • CropScan

    CropScan Grain Analyzer

    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

  • 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

  • Disease Risk Utility Monitoring

    Sensor in the Olds College Smart Farm

    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

  • Floating Island Technology for Livestock Water Remediation

    Plants on Floating Islands in a greenhouse

    This project evaluates the economic and environmental benefits of using native wetland plants and floating island technology to treat feedlot runoff water. ...more

  • Grazing Management

    Cattle Grazing in a Field

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

  • Hail Damage Classification Using Drones

    Graphic identifying hail damage on the smart farm

    Olds College and Alberta Financial Services Corporation are working together to determine if high definition imaging can be used for the classification of hail damaged areas in barley. ...more

  • Heifer Development - Handling Acclimation

    Heifer Development

    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

  • HyperLayer Data Collection & Utilization

    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

  • In-Bin Drying: TeleSense

    Grain bins with In Bin Drying Technology

    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

  • In-Bin Drying: Top Grade Ag

    In-Bin Drying Monitor App for Farmers

    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

  • Manuals for Uploading VR Application Prescription Files on Field Displays

    Manuals for Variable Rate Applications on Field Displays

    Uploading and utilizing prescription files for variable rate (VR) fertilizing, seeding and spraying is challenging due to different file formats and various models of displays being used in the field. ...more

  • 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

  • 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

  • Sire Progeny

    Baby calf at Olds College

    This project evaluates sire-progeny links, breeding plans and information management/record keeping in multi-sire breeding scenarios on commercial herds. ...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

  • Snow Acres Soil Moisture Sensor

    Sensor buried in the ground

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

  • Soil Nutrient Sensor Evaluation

    Sensors being buried in the soil

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

  • Soil Sensor Cluster

    Multi-Cluster Sensors | Smart Farm

    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

  • UAV Soil Electrical Conductivity Evaluation

    Drone with Sensor

    A sensor attached to a drone (UAV or unmanned aerial vehicles) flies low across fields to create a map of electrical conductivity of the soil, which is a measure of salinity ...more

  • VRT In-Field Fungicide/Desiccant Trial

    graphic showing fungicide trials

    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

  • Weather Station Array

    Weather Station at the Olds College Smart Farm

    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

  • Weather Station Comparative Study

    Weather station demonstration on the smart farm

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