Smart Farm Applied Research Projects

Ongoing Projects
  • Multi-Sensor Cluster

    Multi-Cluster Sensors | Smart Farm

    Problem Statement/Challenge: There are a variety of new sensors either coming to market soon or just hitting the commercial market with capabilities to measure soil properties. One of the challenges for a farmer is to determine which one can bring value to the farm and which sensors have accurate measures and reading in a dryland prairie environment. The technology is an upfront investment and there is minimal (if any) third party data comparing the accuracy and functionality of these sensors. Placing a variety of sensors in a clustered format on the College and comparing the accuracy to in-season soil tests will help to develop a framework and neutral comparison of all the sensors and determine which are most valuable in the farming environment for Western Canada.

  • Purpose-Built Network

    Purpose Built Network  | Smart Farm

    Problem Statement/Challenge: Farmers are needing to connect their farm and data in a convenient place. As the need for data and data management and storage increases it becomes more important to find a solution that allows farmers to work with multiple companies and organizations. By 'Connecting the Farm' we are going to demonstrate the connection of multiple sensors into one platform for a easy to read location for farmers to find their in season cropping data. Currently, each ag company has their own interface and sensors for a farmer. This is causing challenges because farmers do not want to have a handful of apps and logins for each different sensor from each different company. Having one place to combine all that data and use on dashboard or interface for viewing would allow farmers to see their data in one place allowing for easier and faster decision making capabilities. 

  • Regenerative Agriculture Project

    Regenerative Agriculture

    Problem Statement/Challenge: Pasture is overgrazed and struggling to manage adequate AUM's. By giving it a brief rest and grazing it in a new pattern we plan to enhance the current pasture and improve AUM's to allow for higher grazing potential in the years to come. 

    Solution/Value Proposition: By taking a new management approach we should be able to improve the plant matter and feeding capability of this ground. This should allow for greater feeding times in pasture and less time for cattle in confined feeding operations. It also allows us to be more economic by moving cattle to the feed source instead of bringing more feed to the cows which takes more time, labour and equipment.

Completed Projects
  • Corn Grazing

    Corn Grazing

    Problem Statement/Challenge: Feed value of a crop can change throughout the growing season depending on maturity. Determining the optimum time to allow cattle to graze for highest nutrient and feed value can help a producer to cut feed costs by getting the most out of the feed source before it begins losing nutrient value due to frost or crop degradation. 

  • Decision Support Platform Comparison

    Decision Support Platform

    Problem Statement/Challenge: Farmers are faced with a huge multitude of companies providing data management software in the marketplace. Each of these softwares has costs associated with them, whether it be for a subscription fee or time that it takes to input the manage data. Farmers are looking for easy interfaces that allow for quick data input and easy functionality to help improve their decision making ability and data management on farm. By comparing multiple different software platforms we will be able to provide a comprehensive analysis of the capabilities, functionalities and end use of the products for farmers. This will be an unbiased assessment of the softwares and their benefit to farmers.

  • Field to Glass: Barley Trail

    Barley Trail - Field to Glass

    Olds College Brewery is excited to launch Barley Trail, our first fully transparent beer using malt barley grown on the Olds College Smart Farm with Decisive Farming and Grain Discovery's technology.

    Barley Trail is the first Olds College Brewery beer to use blockchain technology. Our customers will be able to scan the QR code found on the label of every can revealing everything about the beer, from its ingredients to the brewing methods.