Investment into development of artificial intelligence spraying technology

A.I. technology will allow farmers to target crop pests

Regina, Saskatchewan – Today, Protein Industries Canada announced the development of new technology that specifically targets pests when spraying fields, increasing efficiencies and providing economic benefits for farmers.

The technology uses artificial intelligence to detect weeds and other crop pests while passing over a field. This is estimated to reduce pesticide use by up to 95 per cent while maintaining crop yield, saving farmers approximately $52 per acre per growing season. Additionally, the technology can be retrofitted to upgrade new or existing sprayers, making it suitable for all Canadian farmers.

The $26.2 million project is being led by Inc., Sure Growth Solutions Inc., Exceed Grain Marketing and the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) at the University of Saskatchewan. The partners are together investing $13.4 million into the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing the remaining $12.8 million. Approximately 120 new Canadian jobs are expected to be created through the project within the next five years.

“This new project supported by the Protein Supercluster is a great example of how the superclusters are bringing innovation to farming practices, using advanced technology like artificial intelligence (AI) and creating new well-paying jobs. Through a collaborative effort between three SMEs and a university research centre, this project has the potential to dramatically reduce chemical pesticide use without sacrificing crop yield or quality,” said the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry.

Designed by Canadians for Canadian farmers, the technology is intended to address the needs of the Canadian agriculture landscape first and foremost. It can, however, be used anywhere in the world, diversifying and strengthening Canada’s economy and providing benefits for farmers around the world.

“The effect this new technology will have on Canada’s plant-protein sector is tremendous,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Consumers want plant-protein products that were grown sustainably, without sacrificing on quality or economic value. This is particularly true in international trade where, despite Canada’s reputation as a supplier of high-quality agrifoods, our products are facing increasing testing. Thanks to the work being done by, Sure Growth Solutions, Exceed Grain Marketing and GIFS, Canada’s plant proteins are one step closer to being the highlight of plates of consumers around the world.”

Once the technology is fully developed, Inc., Sure Growth Solutions Inc., Exceed Grain Marketing and GIFS will expand on the project. Commodities grown using the technology will be tested for international maximum residue level (MRL) compliance and protein content. Both streams of testing will strengthen international market opportunities.

“This project embodies our mission of lowering pesticide use by combining artificial intelligence and robotic automation to achieve precision application,” said Daniel McCann, CEO & Founder of “Our partnership with PIC, Sure Growth Solutions, Exceed Grain Marketing and GIFS is the perfect balance of innovation and industry expertise to deliver a paradigm-defining solution that protects money, time and the environment to make healthier, more sustainable food for everyone.”

“We have known for some time there were better ways to allocate the time and resources for our clients around pesticide use, particularly with weed control,” said Terry Aberhart, CEO of Sure Growth Solutions Inc. “This combination of technologies will allow us to do this in a way that makes sense without sacrificing yield or quality, and having it built and tested locally will ensure its fit for our Canadian farmers. We are very excited to help change the way the world sprays and continue to support farmers help make the world a better place for future generations.”

“As global demand continues to grow for high-quality products, we are looking to help Canadian producers be influential on an international level,” Exceed Grain Marketing President Derek Squair said. “Food safety, maximum residue limits and sustainable practices are some of the top concerns for Canada’s markets. With cost savings to our farmers, the technology we’re developing is addressing those concerns, benefiting the world for future generations.”

“At GIFS, we recognize the value of collaboration, so we work with partners to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food,” GIFS CEO Steve Webb said. “By joining forces with PIC,, Sure Growth Solutions and Exceed Grain Marketing on this exciting project, we are developing innovative technologies to precisely target crop inputs when and where needed, making production agriculture more efficient and more economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.”

This is Protein Industries Canada’s ninth project announcement. Together with industry, the company has invested more than $163 million into the plant protein sector. They are currently accepting Expressions of Interest (EOIs) for research and capacity building projects through their third open call.

For more information:

Miranda Burski
Protein Industries Canada
Regina, SK


About Inc. is at the forefront of the fully autonomous farming revolution, using artificial intelligence and robotics to solve the key agricultural challenges of the 21st century. Our patented artificial intelligence powers the farming machines of the future. To learn more about, visit

About Sure Growth Solutions Inc.

Sure Growth Solutions Inc. is a group of professional consultants dedicated to helping growers optimize valuable resources. We achieve this through simplifying, implementing and supporting sustainable profitable solutions. Our team is committed to supporting profitable precision strategies built on sound agronomy and innovation provided by a passionate network of knowledgeable people. Sure Growth Solutions Inc. has been dedicated to helping growers optimize valuable resources, based near Langenburg, Sask., on the family farm of our founder, Terry Aberhart, since 2006. We provide coaching services that include Crop Planning, Fertility Planning, Soil and Tissue Testing, Variable Rate and Precision Agriculture Programs, and In-Season Scouting Support. We pride ourselves in identifying challenges and designing strategies to bring value to our clients. We are passionate about the research, development and implementation of new science and precision technologies, through working with our progressive network of top agriculture producers. To learn more about Sure Growth Solutions Inc., visit

About Exceed Grain Marketing

Exceed Grain Marketing is an independently owned company that provides farmers, as well as industry partners, professional and unbiased grain market intelligence. Our team is made up of independent advisors with over 300 years of combined experience. With footprints in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, we continue to expand a network of advisors across the country who are passionate about agriculture and their clients’ success. To learn more about Exceed Grain Marketing, visit

About the Global Institute for Food Security

Founded in 2012 in a partnership between Nutrien, the Government of Saskatchewan and the University of Saskatchewan, the Global Institute for Food Security (GIFS) works with a diverse range of partners to discover, develop and deliver innovative solutions for the production of globally sustainable food. To learn more about GIFS, visit

The Sure Growth Team would like to thank everybody for coming out to the field day to support Sure Growth along with learning from key industry people. Sure Growth would like to send out a huge thank you to the sponsors who sponsored the day as well!

Another spring is quickly approaching and our team here at Sure Growth Technologies are on our feet quickly getting ready to help our growers do what they do best: Farm. We recently hosted our annual spring growers meeting on March 13th, 2015 at the Russell Inn Hotel & Conference Centre in Russell Manitoba.

The day was filled with excellent presentations from a variety of coaches across our Agri-Trend network.

Sure Growth’s own, Terry Aberhart kicked off the meeting with our 2015 update to keep everyone in the loop as to what kind of cool things we’ll be up to this year and what we hope to bring to our clients and their farming operations. Terry’s presentation even touched on some of the neat features of the new Agri-Data App and how we hope you will all become accustomed to using it on your own farms too.

Elston Solberg, the Director of Agri-Knowledge took some time to give us a presentation on Overcoming the Agronomic Limitations of Your Seeding Equipment.

Dr. Geza Racz spoke on Sustainable Phosphorus Use and Product Efficiency and Matt Ramage gave us an excellent insight as to how they utilize precision farming practices in the United States and how we can use them here on our own farming operations.

Matt Ramage, Elston Solberg, and Dr. Geza Racz then teamed up to give an excellent presentation on Floating & Fertilizer Efficiency.

Bob Barton joined us to give us an outlook on the upcoming 2015 marketing season and Joerg Zimmerman lead us into supper time with a great presentation on Strategic Planning & Team Motivation to help give our growers some tips on growing their business.

Once again, the Russell Inn’s catering team went above and beyond to bring us a delicious meal and Terry Aberhart gave an excellent presentation on his recent trip to Ethiopia with the Canadian Food Grains Bank. We hope that everyone in attendance was able to walk away with some fresh knowledge in his or her brains, as we know we sure did.

We would like to send special thanks out to our sponsors for the day:

ATP Nutrition and a thank you to all of our growers, industry personnel, and Agri-Trend network who were able to make it to this meeting. We appreciate you taking the time out of your busy schedules to join us. Do not forget to mark your calendars for Friday, July 24th, 2015 when we will be hosting our Annual Sure Growth Technologies field day. We wish everyone the best in the upcoming growing season and look forward to working with you all.

Last week within the Agri-Trend network we had another excellent conference call. The topic of the call was how to evaluate nodulation. We had our Senior Agri-Coach Tracey Preete lead share some great information. Checking nodulation consists of pulling a few plants, seeing how many nodules are present on the plants’ root system, and seeing how the plant is functioning. One thing we talked about was how to better evaluate nodulation and how to allow for some comparison between fields or from year to year.

Nodulation should be checked as early as two weeks after emergence in crops such as field peas, chickpeas, and lentils. Nodule numbers generally increase to a maximum in these crops at the mid-flowering stage. Checking the nodule number and function around three to four weeks after emergence will allow time for any corrective action that may take place if there are problems.

The best way to check nodulation is to dig up a group of plants (approximately four or five) should be dug up with the root mass and surrounding soil intact. Then, soak the plants in a pail of water and carefully remove the soil.

A few things that should be kept in mind when assessing the nodulation are as follows:

➢ The overall plant health
➢ The plant growth stage
➢ The sample location (avoid hilltops, low spots, herbicide overlaps, etc)
➢ Variety differences
➢ Soil test nitrate levels (may delay nodulation or nodule function)
➢ Starter fertilizer rates (may delay nodulation or nodule function)
➢ Field history that includes pulse crops (background of residual levels of Rhizobium)
➢ Inoculant type:
↳ Seed-applied inoculants generally result in more crown
↳ Soil-applied inoculant products will result in nodules on both the primary and secondary
↳ Residual or background Rhizobium bacteria usually produce nodules on secondary roots away from the primary root and crown

Generally, low nodule numbers or poorly functioning nodules do not always mean that there are problems but it should cause you to investigate further. Detecting a problem early enough will give you time to take tissue samples, check soil test nitrate levels or other reasons for lack of nodulation to determine if corrective actions are needed. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to contact your Agri-coach. We hope you’re all thrilled to be done with seeding and into spraying.

Happy Farming!

We hope you’re all enjoying the 2014 planting season. We wanted to share some awesome information that we discussed during yesterday mornings network chat conference call. The great power with our Agri-Trend network is being able to participate in things like this with some of our top professionals. We never stop learning in this ever changing industry.

Today’s discussion was on tissue tests and the benefit to our farms. We all know the importance of soil tests in the field planning process. Soil testing provides us with important information to provide the proper nutrients for the crop during the growing season.

What about once the seed is in the ground?

When soil testing is used in conjunction with tissue testing we, as Agri-Coaches, are able to help you get yet another step closer to achieving your maximum yield by testing for deficiencies before they become a visible problem in your field. Tissue testing is able to help us get you the quickest treatment of a current problem and keep up to date with the health of the crop.

The best part?

Testing at different points in the growing season will help us identify deficiencies such as zinc and potassium that can make major impacts on your yield. The more you keep up to date with the nutrient placements within your fields, the easier it will be to plan your fertilizer applications, should you require any. We’re excited to begin scouting and tissue testing! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Happy Farming!

Another long winter has come, and feels like it is never going to leave, yet meteorologists say that spring is here and we can only hope that Mother Nature will start to agree soon.

March 27th 2014 we held our annual Spring Growers Meeting at the Russell Inn in Russell Manitoba to kick off the upcoming growing season, even if there is still a foot of snow on top of the fields. We had some excellent presentations from Tom Wolf of Agri-Matrix, Ron Rabe from Monsanto, Kristina Nesbitt of BASF, Dan Aberhart from Precision Land Solutions, Justin Cleaver from Sure Growth Technologies, Derek Squair from Agri-Trend Marketing, Jarret Chambers from ATP Nutrition, Elston Solberg from Agri-Trend Agrology, and Terry Aberhart from Sure Growth Technologies.

Our presenters covered everything from the latest spraying technology to the various agronomic concerns that producers face, along with some great presentations from a few of the members on our Agri-Trend team. We thank everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to join us along with the Russell Inn who provided a great venue and fantastic meals. We would also like to thank the following sponsors of the event:






We wish everyone a successful planting season and cannot wait to be by your side as we approach, what we hope to be, yet another great year at Sure Growth Technologies Inc.

We at Sure Growth Technologies Inc., do our best to minimize our risk through strategic agronomic management. Part of this is achieved through ‘Precision Farming’ which encompass a range of components such as field trials, variable rate practices, soil and plant fertility & satellite imagery.

Results from past trials have proven to be extremely positive with leading industry experts showing a keen interest. We are so pleased with our trials that we wish to invite you to our field day to see for yourself. A handful of experts from Agri-Trend including other professional from within the industry will be here discussing our variable rate practices in more details as well as other concerns regarding insects and disease.

We hope that you will find this day extremely resourceful, helping you improve your business further.

The field day will begin from Aberhart Farms, Langeburg at 12:30pm. If you require further information about this event please contact Terry Aberhart at:
Cell: +1 306 743 7657

Another growing season is quickly coming upon us. We are are looking forward to hosting our annual spring grower meeting March 28th at Prairie Lake Lodge – Lake of the Prairies. As usual this will be a information packed day with Agri-Trend experts, Industry reps and our top farm clients. We hope to see you all there!