Agricultural IoT Solutions

Adopting smart farming solutions to improve efficiency, reduce processing costs and improve yield should be high on the agenda for regional businesses.  There are specific challenges generated by agriculture including distances and environmental factors that need to be addressed by your solution – and there is every reason to collect all your Agricultural IoT solutions into one central management portal to monitor everything from one mobile point – on or off your farm.

Utilising Internet of Things (IoT) applications in Agriculture is the way to efficiently monitor and manage all your disparate tasks needing to be performed in a day – and manage them from your home office (or while shopping in town or even on holiday overseas).  Do you want to be in a position to control your entire farm from your phone?

Depending on your business, there are any number of solutions to help, with their number only limited by your wish list; and getting set up is not necessarily a costly experience.

Some examples of uses of IoT in Agriculture include:

  • Monitoring Livestock – Wireless monitoring is already well advanced to measure health of stock, location of cattle and produce data needed by buyers and sellers. Recognising and removing a sick calf could save thousands in vet bills not having to treat a herd.
  • Conveyor Belt Alerts – Agricultural conveyor belts can be dangerous and monitoring hazards by wireless sensors can ensure that temperatures higher or lower than a baseline are investigated immediately. This will minimise conditions suitable for dust fires and explosions that have been a regular occurrence over the years.
  • Environmental/Rainfall Data Monitoring – Study of weather conditions to optimise production of crops and schedule farm activity like cropping, picking etc.
  • Pump Management/Irrigation/Pivot System Control – Monitoring your water use allows you to reduce water consumption, avoid watering when unnecessary, based on upcoming weather forecast and soil characteristics.
  • Fuel/Water/Liquid Feed Tank Monitoring – Don’t run out of feed, fuel or fertiliser, manage your stocks and buy efficiently.
  • Generator Monitoring – Check the status of your generator or control its settings from your office PC or mobile phone.
  • Livestock/Poultry Alerts – Pregnant livestock can be monitored by sensors sending you notification of the exact time of birth.
  • Toxic Gas Levels – Ensuring ventilation is correct in product management buildings, methane level alarms monitoring harmful gas from excrement
  • Precision Agriculture – Provides you with information from measurements, data to enable you to optimise all parts of your farm for their best usage. This can include digital farm maps, crop surveillance, and soil management.
  • Soil Monitoring – For moisture and nutrients, controlling water use, determining fertiliser requirements based on soil makeup, scheduling of planting and harvesting, and basic reporting of weather conditions.
  • Tractor and Combine Diagnostics – Plug a sensor into the diagnostic port of your farm vehicle and start measuring and logging all the data from your machinery. Access information that allows you to pinpoint any problems occurring with your assets in the field.

Challenges

Sometimes implementation is not straightforward due to lack of power where you need it or lack of mobile coverage to transfer the sensor information from its origin to the end destination.

Other challenges can include ensuring battery life of the sensor lasts the distance to get the job done. We can work through all these with you.

Networks and Wireless Range

Mesh networks generally don’t work well in many Agricultural settings due to sensors being positioned close to or on ground level.

And it’s also important to know how far away the data from your sensors needs to travel.  The decision is then made to utilise radio frequency, mobile coverage, Bluetooth or Bluetooth Low Energy, LoRa (Long Range Low Power), Wi-Fi or a multitude of other options.  Ideally you would have a combination of data transfer methods as you need to factor in fall back in case one fails.

How to power your IoT set-up is an important factor to consider – you will need applications that utilise a low power source in order to keep power and data costs down.

Our two key design goals are to produce a solution for you that will work from its own power source (independent of mains power) for long periods of time with fall back; and to allow quick and easy remote placement.

Summary

Moving forward with IoT should be an important aim of anyone in the agricultural community. Your IoT system can collect data and make meaningful use of it to provide you with field plans, fertilisations schedules, nutrient monitoring, and more.  All with the end aim of improving your efficiency, therefore minimising your losses and maximising your profits.

Move from having a worm’s eye view of your farm to a bird’s eye view.

Contact Us Today about your Agricultural IoT Solutions

Powertec will work closely with you and have a number of installers across Australia who specialise in planning and installation of IoT solutions in regional and agricultural environments covering all aspects of your communication solution. Start with one building block and grow your monitoring touch points, even spread your payments monthly and grow your solution with your business growth.

For a solution to your farming IoT problem please contact us at Powertec on 07 5577 0500 or [email protected].