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Agri-Geomatics: The big data revolution in agriculture (Video)

This video tells the story of the technology behind precision farming and the techniques that were used to cut the Canada 150 logo. Aside from enabling the creation of celebratory field art in a wheat field, the real value of agri-geomatics is seen in its daily use on farms. Learn more about the revolution in farming today.

Also, view the Canada 150: It’s Just the Beginning video to join us in celebrating our country!

Video transcript

[An image and a maple leaf appear on screen. This is the title graphic for the video.]

[Electronic music fades in.]

Text on screen: Agri-Geomatics: The big data revolution in agriculture

[The video opens with a close up shot of someone with handfuls of soil.]

Narrator: Agri-geomatics is concerned with the study of the earth's surface.

[Cut to a shot of a farmer standing in a wheat field examining his crop.]

It's also an area of science...

[Cut to a close up shot of wheat in a field.]

...that is revolutionizing the way we farm and feed the world.

[Cut to a shot of an Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) vehicle driving into a vineyard.]

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is a leading contributor to this revolution.

[Cut to a series of shots of AAFC employees examining data maps on their computers.]

Our researchers use geomatic tools including satellites and soil moisture monitors to create highly accurate maps and data sets on a weekly basis.

[Cut to a close up shot of a farmer breaking apart dry dirt in his hands.]

The tools and their resulting data help farmers...

[Cut to a shot of an AAFC employee collecting data from a vineyard.]

...agronomists...

[Cut to a shot of an AAFC employee examining a microscopic image on a computer.]

...soil and water engineers...

[Cut to a close up shot of an AAFC employee looking through a microscope.]

...plant breeders and more...

[Cut to a shot of a tractor tilling a field at sunset.]

...both in Canada and around the world.

[Cut to a shot of two AAFC employees discussing data in the AAFC Regina office.]

And as one of Canada's original founding departments, it's only fitting that the department celebrates Canada's 150th anniversary...

[Cut to a shot of a combine cutting into a fresh wheat field.]

...with a show of it's leading-edge...

[Cut to a close up shot of the combine cutting the wheat in the field.]

...agri-geomatics capabilities.

[Cut to a shot of AAFC employee Ian Jarvis. He is standing in a cornfield on the Central Experimental Farm in Ottawa.]

Text on screen: Ian Jarvis, Director, AgroClimate, Geomatics, and Earth Observations Division, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Ian Jarvis: My name is Ian Jarvis. I'm director of a group called AgroClimate, Geomatics, and Earth Observation. Our staff took a logo of the Canada 150...

[Cut to a shot of an AAFC employee looking at the Canada 150 logo on a computer screen.]

...and they used the geomatic information systems to overlay it on maps of the field.

[Cut to a shot of the logo as it appeared on the computer screen inside the combine.]

[Cut back to the shot of Ian Jarvis standing in a cornfield.]

This combined with the global positioning system, or GPS technology...

[Cut to an aerial shot of a combine harvesting wheat.]

...tells the combine where to go, when to turn, and so on.

[Cut to an aerial shot of a combine harvesting wheat.]

It represents a fun application...

[Cut to a shot of a producer in the cab of the combine.]

...of the science and technology...

[Cut to an aerial shot of the combine harvesting the wheat. He's cutting lines into the field that will become the logo for Canada 150.]

...that the agricultural sector is using on a day-to-day basis.

[Cut to an aerial shot of the finished Canada 150 logo at sunset.]

Narrator: Aside from enabling the creation of celebratory field art in a wheat field, the real value of agri-geomatics is seen in it's daily use on farms.

[Cut back to the shot of Ian Jarvis standing in a cornfield.]

Ian Jarvis: Our farmers are leading edge in terms of the adoption of this technology. They're able to get very detailed information on the state of their fields...

[Cut to a shot of a woman planting a new vine in a vineyard.]

...and this informs how they plant...

[Cut to a shot of a potato field in bloom.]

...what they plant...

[Cut to an aerial shot of a wheat field.]

..and where they plant their crops.

[Cut to a shot of a farm at sunset.]

All this technology is now coming together.

[Cut back to the shot of Ian Jarvis standing in a cornfield.]

Things we were doing research on forty years ago...

[Cut to a shot of a producer operating a combine.]

...we're now actually applying operationally...

[Cut to a shot of a soil moisture map on a computer screen.]

...on a daily and weekly basis.

[Cut back to the shot of Ian Jarvis standing in a cornfield.]

It's really having a big impact on both the sustainability...

[Cut to a long shot of a combine in a wheat field.]

...but also the profitability of agriculture in Canada.

[Cut to a shot of a cornfield at sunset.]

Something that really excites me is all the open data that's available now.

[Cut back to the shot of Ian Jarvis standing in a cornfield.]

We're reaching the point now where we can get high resolution data over all of Canada almost on a daily basis. We use all this information to produce...

[Cut to a shot of a data map on a computer screen.]

...things like a weekly crop condition assessment using satellite imagery.

[Cut back to the shot of Ian Jarvis standing in a cornfield.]

We do the same with soil moisture; a weekly assessment of surface soil moisture...

[Cut to a shot of an AAFC employee looking at a surface soil moisture map on a computer screen.]

...across Canada.

[Cut back to the shot of Ian Jarvis standing in a cornfield.]

As we do our national crop monitoring interpretations we feed that up through international programs.

[Cut to a shot of a wheat field.]

What this does is create information for the markets...

[Cut to a shot of a combine off-loading wheat into a transport truck.]

[Cut to a shot of a transport truck speeding down a highway.]

...that helps stabilize the markets.

[Cut to a close up shot of someone touching canola flowers.]

Narrator: The impact of agri-geomatics is enormous.

[Cut to a shot of a combine harvesting a field of wheat.]

From the farm to international markets...

[Cut to a close up shot of wheat.]

...the availability of information...

[Cut to a close up shot of a blueberry bush.]

...to the agricultural sector....

[Cut to a close up shot of a potato flower.]

...has increased ten fold in recent years...

[Cut to a shot of a producer standing in a wheat field on a sunny day.]

...and is driving innovation and this new revolution.

[Cut back to the shot of Ian Jarvis standing in a cornfield.]

Ian Jarvis: It's quite an exciting time.

[An aerial shot of the Canada 150 logo cut into the wheat field. The combine is driving around the edge of the logo.]

It's the cornerstone of farming for the future I think.

[Electronic music fades out.]
[Cross dissolve to the end graphic for the video.]
Text on screen: Modern. Innovative. Growing. Discover other agricultural innovations at www.agr.gc.ca.
Text on screen: Canada, © Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food (2016).
[Fade to black.]

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