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Browsing Category Precision Ag

Convincing the Unconvinced on Precision Agriculture

Precision agriculture is cutting edge, high-tech and full of potential. At least some western Canadian potato farmers, however, see it as overwhelming, costly, frustrating, and/or difficult to implement. If you look past the hype and excitement surrounding precision agriculture, you’ll find a group of farmers who have tried it and quit, or who were turned off the concept before they ever started. Jeff Bronsch, an agronomic consultant in Taber, Alta., understands farmers…

UAVs coming to a potato field near you

Agriculture is on the cusp of a game-changing leap forward in technology. Currently, most agricultural unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are used for the technologically simple task of remote digital photography But, government and private-sector scientists alike are proving UAVs can do much, much more for Canadian farming. “Soon, definitely less than a decade from now, using UAVs will be a common-place practice; just one more tool in the toolbox,” says Dan Clarke,…

Equipment and Technology Showcase

Precision Farming Display The new TMX-2050 from Trimble is a modern precision farming display that is built on the popular Android operating system and optimized for the company’s Connected Farm service, an integrated operations management system that facilitates information exchange across the entire farm. “Combining the latest technology in hardware, software and data management, the display is the in-cab tool that seamlessly integrates with Connected Farm and takes farmers to the next…

Eliminating the Paper Chase

At the height of harvest, Brian Sackett, owner of Sackett Potatoes in Mecosta County, Mich., runs three harvesters in three fields going to three different bins, putting away 1.1-million hundredweight of potatoes destined for the chipping industry. Ten years ago, an employee would sit at the scale for up to 16 hours a day, recording truck weights as each potato load came in from harvesting more than 3,400 acres. Sackett felt there…

Calculating a Greener Path to Potatoes

With rising temperature trends around the world and the growing awareness of the role of man-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in global warming, many individuals and organizations are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact or carbon footprint. The carbon footprint produced in the process of putting food on the dinner table is not insubstantial — for example, the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research estimates that the agriculture industry is responsible…

What’s New With GPS Technology?

To get the kind of accuracy required—typically to within an inch or better—farmers have had to rely up to now on RTK systems, which transmit signals from a base station via a wireless radio tower to the receiver in the tractor or other equipment. One disadvantage of RTK is that it has a limited range and coverage isn’t universal, as the infrastructure is expensive to install for retailers who usually provide the…

Tools of The Trade

Rob Van Roessel, chairman of the Potato Growers of Alberta, and owner of Courtland Hill Farms, grows 390 acres of potatoes in Bow Island, Alta. Terry Curley, owner of Monaghan Farms, grows 1100 acres of potatoes in the Kensington area of Prince Edward Island. Jamie Lundy grows 1400 acres of potatoes with his brother Michael and father Alan near Alliston, Ont. Scott Anderson is the farms manager for Barrich Farms and the…

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