Protecting Tasmanian farms with sensor technology

Protecting Tasmanian farms with sensor technology


Tasmania: Thousands of sensors are being installed at farms across Tasmania as part of the first full-scale trial of the Sense-T system. Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure, Jamie Briggs, visited Houston's Farm in Richmond, one of 20 trial sites, to officially launch the Sense-T Alpha Trial.

"This will be the first large-scale trial bringing together all the elements we've been working on over the past two years. That includes brand new sensing technology and smart phone applications, as well as the big data platform that manages the flow of data from the sensors to Sense-T and back to farmers," said Ros Harvey, Sense-T Director.

Shaun Heidrich (Houston's Farm), Amanda Castray (Sense-T, UTAS), Eric Hutchinson (Federal Member for Lyons), Jamie Briggs (Federal Assistant Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) and Prof. Holger Meinke (Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture, UTAS).

"Once the trials are complete, we'll commence work to make the technology available to farmers more broadly so they can all access the benefits."

Each sensor system wirelessly connects hundreds of sensors measuring temperature, humidity, soil moisture, leaf wetness and solar radiation. The trial sites include a wide range of agricultural businesses including vineyards, broad acre pasture, dairy, annuals, biannuals, berries and floriculture.

"We will effectively have a digital map of conditions across the whole farm, allowing us to forecast, predict and plan in a way we've never been able to before. We'll be able to make more accurate decisions around irrigation, pest control and harvesting," said Shaun Heidrich, General Manager of Agriculture at Houston's Farm.

Sense-T and its partners will work closely with farmers throughout the trial, seeking feedback on the new sensing technology, the app design and how they would like the technologies developed. Engineers will stress-test the technology to confirm its durability and telemetry capacity.

Source: SenseT