After spending much time researching which network will be most suitable for your operation – See recent blog Where do I start with Farm IoT (Internet of Things).
THE ONE, most likely will still only service a large percentage of your property and so there still may need to be some additional data connectivity or consideration at a later stage.
From my small amount of experience in this space there is a massive number of ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) devices that are available, BUT once you have chosen your network there is an instant reduction and calming of the waters. The consolidated list of options will now allow you to work out exactly what will be most valuable and production focused on your farm or operation.
Within Australia there is a number of great publications and reviews by KPMG, Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), Food Agility CRC Agtech Finder and many more. These papers will allow further identification of what will provide the greatest benefit and boost to your business.
As mentioned in the last blog, farmers creating groups to explore options is a unique way to maximise a ‘Think Tank’ approach is a low risk way to take the first steps. If the group can review how to deploy and best utilise the investment and also to spread and share the risk of less than optimal choices, everyone will learn and challenge this innovative process approach.
The reason why I say ‘Less than optimal choices’, is that if a large amount of research and consideration has gone into selecting a device or solution, then you are now much wiser and understand the issues at hand. If you had sat out and not engaged with any process of elimination, you probably will continue to do so and miss the opportunities to grow your personal understanding with the growth of the industry.
I have spoken with a number of innovative farmers and researchers, that laugh about how many ‘dodgy’ devices that they have had over the years. But they all now believe that these devices are now more commercial and ‘Ringer Proof’ [‘Ringers’ are somewhat experienced staff in Northern Australian cattle stations, usually pretty hard on things]. This learning process for the early adopters and technically savvy researchers, all builds use cases and options for future considerations of how to best implement and include agtech into your business.
Generally a network will have range outside your property or operational boundaries, ie: LoRaWAN and Sigfox gateways on high hills or 3/ 4G etc. This can present opportunities for setting up complementary networks for farmer groups and fill in black holes and low connectivity areas. Again the key I see for any adoption of agtech is understanding the range of issues you are trying to resolve and also the range of physical issues that constrain your operation. Sometimes the group approach will allow quicker and greater outcomes, through some networking and group think.
Good luck with your decision process and please feel free to contact me or share this link with others that may be interested.
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