Internet of Things (IoT) Grants Program - Update

Page last updated: Thursday, 6 August 2020 - 9:03pm

Fifteen Internet of Things (IoT) Program projects are now live across the state!

These projects have been undertaken by 13 grower groups and agricultural colleges awarded funding under the WA DecisionAg IoT Grants Program, which is run by the department’s eConnected Grainbelt Project.

The State Government invested $582,800 towards the program with funding shared between the recipients.

The program was designed to demonstrate on-farm connectivity solutions to support remote digital farm monitoring with IoT sensors and devices, even in areas without current farm-wide connectivity.

The grant recipients have integrated a range of connectivity, IoT and dashboard equipment into their operations.

The 15 projects are run by – Corrigin Farm Improvement Group, Edmund Rice College, Esperance Farm Training Centre – Esperance SHS, Kiara College, Lakes Information & Farming Technology, Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group, Mingenew Irwin Group, Moora Miling Pasture Improvement Group, Stirlings to Coast Farmers (two projects), South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (two projects), WA Colleges of Agriculture – Cunderdin and Morawa, and Yuna Farm Improvement Group.

The on-farm connectivity network solutions on host farms include both low and high bandwidth technologies with Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) using the LoRaWAN and SigFox communication protocols, mesh networks, 3G/4G mobile network and on-farm Wi-Fi networks.  

They are being demonstrated across small and large farms, across neighbouring properties, on flat and undulating land, and to farm properties located at significant distances from the home farm.

A number of IoT devices are demonstrated operating on these connectivity networks and the data is analysed and displayed on supplier or aggregated dashboards that can be read from a laptop, tablet, in the home office or out in the paddock.

The groups are investigating various IoT sensors and devices such as soil moisture, tank level sensors for water, spray and diesel tanks, weather stations, rain gauges, water flow meters, frost sensors, electric fence monitors, and security cameras.

A snapshot of the 15 projects is outlined below.

Moore Catchment Council (MCC)

Along with the Moora Miling Pasture Improvement Group, MCC is exploring remote farm monitoring through 'do-it-yourself' installation of LoRaWAN - LPWAN soil moisture monitoring and water tank levels on four farms. The group is using a MoteNet dashboard for viewing data.

Kiara College

Kiara College is one of five agricultural schools to benefit from eConnected’s IoT grants. The College's project is up and running – having installed SigFox - LPWAN on-farm connectivity for monitoring IoT weather stations, soil moisture and rain gauge devices in eight locations, across the school farm. AxisTech and PairTree are providing the data viewing platforms.

Mingenew Irwin Group (MIG)

MIG has used its grants program funding to install a LoRaWAN on-farm connectivity system with two weather stations, four soil moisture probes, spray tank levels, four rain gauges, and diesel tank devices. They are able to monitor these devices from seven different locations, across a large farm. GoannaAg is the platform provider, using GoSat platforms.

South East Premium Wheat Growers Association (SEPWA)

SEPWA is also trialling on-farm connectivity and IoT farm monitoring across properties 100km apart, thanks to eConnected’s IoTgrants program. Two farm neighbours and SEPWA have installed IoT weather stations, soil moisture stations, tank level sensors with 3G/4G mobile, repeater stations and WiFi. SEPWA is utilising 3G/4G and WiFi in a mesh connectivity network and is viewing its IoT data on the FarmHub dashboard by Origo.

WA College of Agriculture – Cunderdin

The WA College of Agriculture  – Cunderdin has installed LoRaWAN on-farm connectivity for monitoring IoT weather stations, frost, soil and water sensors devices at over 30 locations on its agricultural college farm and is using a Stratus Imaging dashboard.

Yuna Farm Improvement Group (YFIG)

Sixteen YFIG farmers have created a network of IoT soil moisture probes to join their 50-strong rainfall gauge network across YFIG properties, using 3G/4G mobile connectivity. MyWildeye is the data viewing platform provider for this project.

Esperance Farm Training Centre  – Esperance SHS

Via funding from eConnected’s IoT grants program, the Esperance Farm Training Centre has installed an IoT weather station and water flow meter using 3G/4G mobile connectivity and long range antennas. Data viewing is via the FarmHub dashboard by Origo.

Merredin and Districts Farm Improvement Group Inc (MADFIG)

MADFIG has undertaken two projects.  In the first, MADFIG installed a catchment-wide digital rain gauge network at 21 sites across the member base using 3G/4G mobile towers for connectivity. Two member farms have also installed IoT sensors for frost, fuel tank levels and weather stations. MyWildeye is the data viewing platform.

In the second project, three MADFIG farmers have installed WiFi across their farm poperties for connectivity, enabling WiFi calling and the use of higher bandwidth IoT devices.  The MADFIG farmers have each installed fixed and roving IoT connected cameras and lower bandwidth IoT devices including rain gauge, temperature sensors, soil moisture probe and weather stations, and WiFi repeaters in vehicles.  GoApp by GoannaAg is the data veiwing platform.

Stirlings to Coast Farmers (SCF)

SCF have established a Smart Farms Hub for cropping farms and is testing two different connectivity technologies for remote farm monitoring at the site.  Mobile 3G/4G connectivity is being used to operate soil moisture probes and a DTN weather station.  SCF have also installed LoRaWAN LPWAN connectivity to operate GoannaAg rain gauges.  Weather Sentry from DTN is the data viewing platform used.

A Smart Farms Hub for mixed farms has also been established by SCF where three different connectivity technologies for remote IoT farm monitoring are being tested including 3G/4G mobile to operate a weather station and a rain gauge, and SigFox-LPWAN connectivity to operate rain gauges and a soil moisture probe.  LoRaWAN-LPWAN connectivity has also been installed in ancipation of operating other devices using this connectivity option. Weather Sentry from DTN is the data viewing platform used.

Edmund Rice College

Edmund Rice College installed WiFi across its farm property for connectivity, with WiFi towers enabling WiFi calling and the use of higher bandwidth IoT devices. The College installed IoT monitoring cameras, a weather station, soil moisture probes, water tank level sensors and electric fence sensors. The viewing dashboard for the low bandwidth IoT devices was GoannaAg.

Lakes Information and Farming Technology (LIFT)

Three growers from the LIFT group installed WiFi across their farm properties, enabling WiFi calling and the use of higher bandwidth IoT devices, and WiFi repeaters in vehicles. The WiFi connectivity supports the portable and fixed monitoring cameras.  LoRaWAN gateways were also installed for connectivity to lower bandwidth IoT devices operating wireless rain gauges, water tank level sensors and lick feeder sensors.  LIFT growers developed a custom-made data viewing dashboard.

Corrigin Farm Improvement Group (CFIG)

Two CFIG growers have used 3G/4G mobile tower connectivity to connect their IoT devices. CFIG have installed soil moisture probes, weather station and frost sensors.  CFIG is using a customised ICT International dashboard for viewing data.

Western Australian College of Agriculture (WACOA) Morawa

WA College of Agriculture Morawa installed WiFi across its farm property for connectivity, with WiFi towers enabling WiFi calling and the use of higher bandwidth IoT devices. The College installed IoT monitoring cameras, a weather station, soil moisture probes, electric fence sensors and gate controller. The viewing dashboard for the low bandwidth IoT devices was GoannaAg.

Find out more about the IoT program and the grants at https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/internetofthings

Contact information

eConnected Grainbelt

Author

EConnected Grainbelt