Saskatoon-Based Innovator Helping Farmers Become More Efficient

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, November 15, 2023 – The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) today unveiled the last of seven stories highlighting results of the AgTech research & innovation projects it is funding through its 2021 Open Competition.

CAAIN’s mandate from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is to fund technological solutions to the most significant opportunities and challenges facing the nation’s agri-food producers and primary processors. That means supporting promising efforts with the potential to provide economic or environmental value. The featured stories demonstrate that CAAIN is doing just that, as do the 100+ collaborations the organization has nurtured and the $30M it is investing in 24 projects with a combined total value exceeding $90M.

“As a Professional Agronomist, I‘m comfortable stating that the project whose story we’re telling today is potentially ground-breaking,” said Darrell Petras, CAAIN’s CEO. “I wish I’d had access to this kind of  technology when I was farming. Having detailed, integrated soil data at your fingertips is a game-changer capable of advancing precision agriculture in ways that were unimaginable 20 years ago. A one-stop source of information on a range of field properties from seeding through harvest gives farmers a better chance to control their own destinies by deploying only needed inputs rather than taking the traditional one-size-fits-all approach. That makes agricultural operations more efficient and more effective, increasing productivity and profitability at a time of increasingly dire need.”

Led by Saskatoon’s successful Croptimistic Technology Inc., Automation and Scalability of SWAT MAPS to Advance Canadian Agriculture is a $4,739,549 project to which CAAIN has committed $1,101,121. The investment supports improvements to Croptimistic’s suite of proprietary soil-mapping tools that provide agronomists and their clients with information on everything from electrical conductivity to water flow paths and topographic elements. CAAIN’s support has allowed the company to go from a prototype to a commercially viable product far more quickly than would otherwise have been possible. In other words, farmers who need the support will not have to wait, which, given recent growing conditions, will make a real difference to Canada’s agricultural sector.

For more information, read the story online.


“The Canadian agricultural industry is a bedrock of our economy, feeding both Canadians and people around the world. CAAIN continues to bring innovative solutions to one of our oldest and most important industries, and this soil-mapping project represents a perfect demonstration of such transformative innovation. As with previous CAAIN’s program success stories, this new initiative allows a new promising technology to become commercially viable faster, and brings tangible economic and competition advantages to Canada’s agricultural sector.” 

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“This investment in state-of-the-art soil mapping technology will help Canadian farmers use fertilizer, seed, and other inputs more efficiently and sustainably, while putting more money back in their pockets. By equipping our farmers with advanced technologies, we’re ensuring the continued growth and competitiveness of Canada’s agricultural industry.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

“CAAIN works closely with the private sector and research partners to develop a smart-agriculture sector. We know food security is top of mind for Canadians as food prices have been driven upward by climate change, a growing population, global conflicts, and high input prices. By leading in agricultural research and technology adoption, Canadian farmers can tackle food security challenges and foster a sector that is sustainable and a powerhouse for years to come.”

Laura Kilcrease, Chair, CAAIN Board of Directors



The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) is a not-for-profit company launched in July 2019 with funding of $49.5‑million from the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, and assistance from Alberta Innovates in the form of significant in-kind contributions. CAAIN drives collaborative agri-food technology research and innovation from coast to coast by performing three core functions. First, it supports the development of promising solutions to important challenges facing producers and primary food processors. Second, it is building an online, member-based network connecting Canada’s agricultural and technology stakeholders. Third, CAAIN is developing a digital platform to link nationwide, production-specific networks of smart farms, which will collaborate to validate and demonstrate emerging technology in diverse locations across the country.   Twitter   LinkedIn


Project Funding Inquiries
Darrell Petras, P.Ag.
Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network
Media Inquiries
Eric Morin, CMP
Manager, Communications and Marketing
Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network
780.405.3742 |