Precision Agriculture and the Internet of Things

European Conference on Precision Agriculture (ECPA)
16-20 July 2017

CENSIS and partners exhibited at the ECPA conference in Edinburgh to demonstrate how IoT is emerging as a significant opportunity for farmers. Using off the shelf technologies, we showed how LoRaWAN™, or LoRa™ – a long range, low power communications platform for building IoT networks – can address some of the major challenges facing the farming sector.

CENSIS and its partners have already deployed a series of LoRa™ networks across Scotland in urban and rural locations. These are being used to tackle environmental challenges; monitor pollution; and track valuable assets, like grazing livestock. Our demonstrations showed live data from sensors deployed in Edinburgh and at Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farms, where Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) has established the only rural LoRaWAN™ network in the UK.

DEMO 1: Soil moisture and temperature sensing

Skysens Sensor

Using an off the shelf sensor from Skysens, we showed moisture and temperature readings from the sensor located at the conference centre, and visualised using the MyDevices platform.
Potential applications: Irrigation and land planning to maximise crop yield.

DEMO 2: Indoor monitoring

Showcasing measurement of CO2, temperature, light, noise and humidity in indoor spaces, on the CENSIS exhibition stand and the main lecture theatre, again visualised using the MyDevices platform.
Potential applications: Managing ventilation, stock numbers, health risk management and meeting regulatory requirements for livestock indoors. It could also have a use in crop storage.

DEMO 3: Location monitoring

Hoofprints Technologies is a leading livestock tracking company, working with SRUC at Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms. This technology allows for real-time non-invasive tracking and monitoring of animals. It can also be extended to track people and other on-farm assets. We demonstrated people tracking at the convention and showed real-time movements.
Potential applications: Tracking the movement of livestock, equipment, people and vehicles around any UK farming system.

Windop Sensor

DEMO 4: Wind direction, speed and temperature 

Using technology from The Windop, we demonstrated wind direction, speed and temperature from devices at Kirkton farm and the conference centre.
Potential applications: Bringing efficiencies to crop spraying or increasing safety for livestock and farm workers during spells of adverse weather.

DEMO 5: Satellite Connectivity

Inmarsat demonstrate how satellite connectivity can be used to enable IoT at low cost when bre and cellular are not available or the best option. Connecting the LoRa gateway to a Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) terminal, Inmarsat will transmit data via satellite to the analytics dashboards at the ECPA show.

Kirkton and Auchtertyre Farms 

Kirkton and Auchtertyre are SRUC’s major research and demonstration farms near Crianlarich in the
West Highlands. They are home to the SRUC Hill & Mountain Research Centre which has been conducting agricultural and environmental research on the farms for over 50 years. The land comprises good quality ploughable land on the floodplain of the River Fillan to extensive pastures rising over 1000m mountain tops. Demonstrations around the farm showed the transmission and long-range capability of LoRaWAN™.

LoRaWAN™ Connectivity

The Things Network provides LoRa™ connectivity at the Kirkton and Auchtertyre farms, while Stream Technologies took care of connectivity at the conference centre in Edinburgh via its IoT-X connectivity management platform.

Our Demonstration Partners

Further Information 

Read the press release or the blog posts in the Scottish Farmer and Future Scot from our Senior Business Development Manager, Craig Fleming.

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