Saskatoon-Based Grain Technology Project Shows Promising Results

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, September 12, 2023 – The Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network (CAAIN) today unveiled the fourth of seven stories showcasing the AgTech research & innovation being developed by the recipients of funding made available through its 2021 Open Competition.

CAAIN’s mandate from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is to fund technological responses to the most significant opportunities and challenges facing the nation’s agri-food producers and 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.

“Canada’s grain producers collectively contribute billions to our nation’s GDP,” said Darrell Petras, CAAIN’s CEO. “Despite that, the process of assessing product quality has remained essentially unchanged throughout the last century—it’s basically manual observation that relies on the skill and knowledge of inspectors and merchants, meaning that the livelihood of thousands of families depends on a subjective assessment. Don’t get me wrong,” he adds. “Canadian inspectors are world class, but they are human and, therefore, like all of us, prone to inconsistency. We’re supporting this complex project because it has the potential to improve profitability in a big chunk of the agricultural sector.”

GeoAI Platform for Automating Manual Observation Associated with Wheat Production is Part 1 of a two-stage project. The total cost of this first phase is $1,198,103, of which CAAIN has committed an investment of $372,370. The brainchild of Saskatoon’s Dr. Weiping Zeng, the GeoAI platform will leverage geospatial, deep learning, machine vision, and high-performance computing technology to develop a proof of concept of an artificial intelligence-based approach to evaluating four specific characteristics of Canada Western Red Spring Wheat. The focus will then expand to developing a commercially viable tool that automates grain grading, reducing manual observation requirements, and increasing producer competitiveness.

For more information, read the attached story or view it online.



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 |