Catherine Hui Niu makes adjustments on an adsorption column, which is capable of treating water and particularly useful for gas-phase separation.  |  William DeKay photo

Grasping at straws

Researchers at the University of Saskatchewan test treated barley straw to absorb chemical pollutants from waterways

It’s all in the eye of the beholder. Where some see waste moving out the back end of combines, Catherine Hui Niu sees great opportunity. “Can we explore new use of those materials? Can we make better use, discover new technology to reuse those materials, recycle them, or add value to them?” asked Niu, associate […] Read more


Does the Canadian agriculture industry treat its data security seriously enough? Some experts say no. | WP graphic

The wild west of agricultural data

Canadian agriculture is in the midst of a sea change that stems from the digitization of farm production data. The sector was a little tardy in showing up for the digital revolution, but most growers now use techniques powered by complex algorithms and massive datasets. Telematics, cloud storage and processing, internet of things (IOT), sensors, […] Read more

Brenna Cannon, Farmers Edge intern, checks imagery as she inspects a corn field at the Peterson Brothers farm in Kansas. |  Farmer’s Edge photo

Small satellite networks: more than a pretty picture

Faster, smarter, sharper with more options describes the latest satellite technology information and services being delivered to growers. Hundreds of the toaster-sized units orbit the Earth taking thousands of snapshots of all corners of the globe every day. The rapid evolution in satellite technology has made high-resolution aerial field photos readily available to all farmers. […] Read more


The fault with salt

TORONTO — Many people admit they reach for the salt shaker too often but it is the hidden sodium in the average diet that is more risky. “The salt shaker on average only contributes 10 percent of the sodium. It is what is already in the food you are ordering that you can’t touch. That […] Read more

TruTag senior vice-president Barry McDonogh, who enjoys calamari, has learned that pig intestines can be substituted instead of the real thing by unscrupulous sellers.  |  Getty illustration

The end of fake calamari

In some parts of the world — maybe even this part, on occasion — the “beef” on your plate might be meat from rats, dogs, horses or camels. High-quality beef is expensive so it can be lucrative to misrepresent high-end meat by substituting a cheaper product or ingredient. In addition to being illegal, it reduces […] Read more

Winnipeg’s JCA Electronics envisions an augmented reality farm.  |  JCA Electronics photo

Holograms leap from video games to fields

Augmented reality technology developed to help farmers compare crop conditions and review spray applications

Augmented reality (AR) will soon be used on Canadian farms to help producers make sense and manage their data. AR is the overlaying of digital information over the real world, and is already widely used in with video games such as Pokemon. Farmers will soon be able to look through a pair of AR capable […] Read more


A paddock containing a crop of canola grows near Mallala, north of Adelaide, South Australia, last summer. GM canola is still banned in this state, and neighbouring states that do permit GM canola to be planted are not permitted to ship the product by rail through its borders.  |  REUTERS/David Gray photo

Aussie hesitation on GM canola a costly mistake

Researchers say Australia’s decision to delay seeding GM canola had negative economic and environmental implications

Australia’s decision to delay the adoption of genetically modified canola cost farmers money but more significantly cost the environment, found a study by Canadian and Australian researchers released earlier this year. Stuart Smyth and Scott Biden from the University of Saskatchewan and David Hudson from SGA Solutions in Melbourne, Australia, used Canadian GM canola data […] Read more