The trial aims to help farmers see the potential of emerging technologies © Photolibrary / Getty Images Plus
The trial aims to help farmers see the potential of emerging technologies © Photolibrary / Getty Images Plus

IoT trial aims to boost Victorian farming

3 February 2020

The Victorian Government is to trial an internet of things (IoT) platform on around 600 farms to improve farm management.

IoT provider National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo) will collaborate with state-run Agriculture Victoria to deliver a digital network to improve functions such as irrigation management and control, soil health and worker safety.

The long-range network will use thousands of sensors to provide real-time connectivity at trial sites in the Maffra, Tatura, Serpentine and Birchip regions of southeast Australia.

Rob Zagarella, CEO at NNNCo, said: “NNNCo’s network and data platform rollout is a commitment to every farmer in these regions to provide the coverage they need to better manage and run their operations.

“Farmers now have a broad choice of devices and applications from the growing global IoT ecosystem, including irrigation management and control, and real-time monitoring of soil health, rainfall, cattle movement, farm assets, worker safety, and water tank levels so that they can proactively respond to the needs of the farm.”

The trial is part of the government’s Connecting Victoria initiative that includes projects around regional mobile coverage, rail connectivity, mobile blackspots and public wifi.

Jaclyn Symes, minister for agriculture, said: “We are funding IoT network connectivity in the trial regions to address a lack of connectivity which is often a barrier to farmers realising the potential of IoT and other emerging digital technologies.” 

She added this was a step towards supporting Victorian farmers’ adoption of digital technology to improve productivity, efficiency and sustainability.

Separately, the Victorian Government is collaborating with Monash University to develop a $1.36m artificial intelligence tool that will run in the background of emergency calls to identify signs of cardiac arrest in callers’ voices to enable quicker dispatch response.

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