WA IoT DecisionAg Grant projects deliver

Page last updated: Thursday, 14 July 2022 - 11:15am

DPIRD's WA Internet of Things (IoT) Decision Ag Grants Program (2019), part of the eConnected Grainbelt project, was designed to assist in overcoming challenges that remained with regard to ‘on-farm connectivity’ and was found to provide benefits.

According to Kari-Lee Falconer, who managed the grants program, many recipients reported positive outcomes from the installation of the agricultural technology (ag-tech) equipment.

Moore Catchment Council (MCC) was one of the WA Grower Groups and agricultural colleges to share in funding under the scheme, being awarded $20 000 – for a joint project with the Moora Miling Pasture Improvement Group.

Early on in the project, one of MCC’s project farmers in Moora, was already ‘counting his lucky stars’ that the grower group had installed and delivered its IoT project – Agricultural sensor on farm practicality. MCC's project ran across four local properties.

Thanks to the instalment of water tank level sensors the MCC farmer was able to identify during harvest that the inlet pipe on one of his water tanks had burst and the tank had run dry less than 12 hours after physically checking the tank the evening before. This water tank serviced four sheep troughs, and in the hot weather and during harvest, the remote monitoring of the tanks enabled the issue to be identified and repaired quickly. The farmer had also identified a water line leak only a few weeks before using the equipment.

Each of the MCC farms had two water tank sensors installed and soil moisture probes. The sensor devices were run on LoRaWAN connectivity.

Kari-Lee Falconer said MCC chose to run LoRaWAN - the LoRaWAN® specification is a Low Power, Wide Area (LPWAN) networking protocol designed to wirelessly connect battery operated ‘things’ to the internet – as they preferred not to have the additional cost of running mobile SIM cards on each sensor.

They also chose to buy and install their own gear working with a farm consultant, which Kari-Lee said differed in approach to other grant recipients who opted for a provider, which could offer an end-to-end solution where the package was installed and delivered as part of the service price. The group chose to use the MoteNet dashboard to monitor their IoT devices after trialling one they created themselves.

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eConnected Grainbelt