The NBN will soon bring reliable Internet connections to rural Australia and eventually the rest of the country.
For home and business owners in rural Australia, this means greater connectivity that could soon pave the way for remote farming.
According to precision agriculture professor at the University of New England, David Lamb, the Internet of Things and network connectivity has broad applications for the future of farming and would likely drive the next wave of on-farm technologies.
Professor Lamb said Australia’s farming landscapes provide the perfect opportunity for the development of the IoT as well as for connecting people to machines, plants, animals, and landscapes on farms.
He said that right now, the Internet of Things is only just being appreciated in the world of farming in terms of what it could potentially offer in the future.
The practical application of the IoT on farms could provide farmers with relevant information which would tell them whether gates are open or closed, let them monitor water levels in storage, and alert them of pipe leaks.
Tracking of livestock will be made possible by the emergence of technology through first generation ear tag tracking devices, which would let farmers watch over the location and track movement and behaviour of every animal on the farm, Professor Lamb said.
With 27 million animals being farmed in the whole of Australia, the wealth of information to be had not just on a farm, but also on a regional and even national scale, is massive. It brings remote farming closer to reality.
“There is enormous value in the data that can be generated in those farms that need to be operated on, analysed off farm, and if necessary, the value-add being fed back to the farmer on the ground, so remotely running farms is quite a realistic proposition and is something we’ll look carefully at.”
At the University of New England farm just outside Armidale, NSW, Professor Lamb runs numerous trial projects with the use of Fixed Wireless NBN link which lets them stream data off the farm and gives them good mobile coverage which allows sensors on the farm to run off mobile modems.
The challenge, according to Professor Lamb, is how to get that sort of level of connectivity to as many Australian farms as possible. With the arrival of Sky Muster Plans, more home and business owners in rural Australia are expected to get connected.
He said that if the true value of the Internet of Things is to be brought to the way Australians manage their farms, to the business and lifestyle of farming, our farms must be connected to the outside world.
“Data and information is a new commodity and if we’ve got the ability to move other commodities – we have our transportation networks for our food and our fibre and our fuel on and off farms – we need the transportation network for data and information, and that is good reliable internet connection to our farms.”
With nbn’s Sky Muster satellite you can enjoy a connection made to share. To get onboard Sky Muster, call Activ8me today 13 22 88 or visit: http://www.activ8me.net.au/internet/skymuster
Article originally published as: Reliable internet could make remote control farming a reality. Image Courtesy of Melior.com.au