The EarthSenseTerraSentia  is a 25 pound autonomous robot that roams cornfields plucking out herbicide resistant weeds.   When it hits the market, the device will initially cost less than US$100 per acre per season to operate.   The developer says he can make a narrower unit that can work in 15-inch row spacings now used by some Canadian prairie farmers.  |  EarthSense photo

Weed-plucking robot roams fields

This tiny high-tech robot from Illinois recognizes young weeds and yanks the ravaging intruders hard by the neck 


Herbicide resistance is costing millions. Tillage fosters erosion. So, might you be interested in a 25-pound, 12-inch wide robot that travels between crop rows plucking out weeds? A new robot with a single-minded focus on yanking young weeds is attracting the attention of Illinois corn growers. TerraSentia is a small, totally independent robot that works […] Read more

Winnipeg company looks to keep manufacturing jobs at home

Nobody can predict our future relationship with China. But long before the current schmozzle, some Canadian businesses had already started putting Canada first and weaned themselves from dependence on China. One of those businesses is the Winnipeg-based technology company 151 Research, the firm that invented and developed GrainViz. Braden Pierce is an engineer and one […] Read more

Bin monitoring system detects everything from heat to humans

The new GrainViz technology is so sensitive, it can identify and trigger alarms when it detects anything from the smallest bug to a trapped human in a grain bin. The latest version of GrainViz technology was unveiled in Winnipeg Dec. 12. At the same news conference, GrainViz co-founder and vice-president Boyd Koldingnes announced that his […] Read more


The GrainBall includes temperature, moisture and CO2 sensors plus a radio transmitter to relay data out to a weather station.  |  GrainViz image/Getty photo

Stay on the ball when storing grain

Not everyone stores grain securely in big well-engineered bins. In many parts of the world, including North America, grain gets piled on the ground, sometimes with retaining rings. And sometimes there’s not even a steel or concrete retaining ring, says GrainViz entrepreneur Boyd Koldingnes. When he and the marketing team were in California recently to […] Read more

North Dakota’s NDAWN forecast network is giving farmers customized weather information.

There’s a better way to predict the weather

Your farmyard weather station is good at predicting weather you’ve already experienced. It predicts history. And your rain gauge is only accurate within a radius of about eight inches. These encouraging words come from Daryl Ritchison, chief meteorologist at the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network called NDAWN. He says your weather station and rain gauge […] Read more


Why do fierce thunderstorms sometimes leave very little moisture on the ground? It’s a riddle that’s puzzled humankind for thousands of years. 
| File photo

Climatologist explains the fickle nature of thunderstorms

Why do fierce thunderstorms sometimes leave very little moisture on the ground? It’s a riddle that’s puzzled humankind for thousands of years. University of Missouri climatologist Neil Fox wanted to solve the riddle. To get at those answers, he turned to a relatively new research tool called dual-polarization radar. Farmers beyond a 30-mile radius (48 […] Read more


Explain it again, Sam

BRANDON — GrainViz engineer Braden Pierce had his hands full at Brandon AgDays explaining the revolutionary new technology that uses radio waves to measure moisture in a grain bin. The easy part was understanding 24 radio transmitter/receivers attached around the circumference of the bin wall. That concept is similar to radar, where a signal is […] Read more


James Nutall applies acute high temperature treatments to wheat at Agriculture Victoria’s Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources.  |  Agriculture Victoria photo

Breeders help wheat beat the heat

Wheat is a cool season crop with an optimal daytime growing temperature of 15 C during the critical reproductive stage. Here on the Prairies, we can see 30 C during this stage. Eighty percent of wheat plants exposed to 30 C during a three-day period around anthesis had abnormal anthers, both structurally and functionally. For […] Read more

The bean weevil larvae bore into a pod and keep eating until there’s nothing left but a hollow shell. The adults then emerge to find another free bean meal.  |  File photo

Stop Evil Kn-weevil dead in his tracks

The bean weevil is an evil little insect that bores into bean pods to devour the meal, thus leaving a hollow shell. It’s happy eating any type of bean seed. The larvae bore into the pods and continue feeding until coming out as adults to infect more seeds. They impact beans in the field and […] Read more