New farm decision platform set to bridge rural data connectivity gap

SUBSCRIBE to our fortnightly email newsletter to receive more stories like this.Sheep on a NSW farm that is trialling Innovation Central's new 'farm tough' range of connectivity-boosting on-farm software and hardware.

Currently being trialled on livestock farms, Innovation Central’s new ‘farm tough’ decision platform, designed to streamline the collection and transfer of on-farm data for climate, soil moisture, pasture and animal performance, could help end rural Australia's ‘data drought’, enabling "cost-effective, reliable delivery of accurate information", claims project partner Cisco Australia and New Zealand.

The 'farm tough' decision platform

The ‘digital connectivity gap’ presents ongoing challenges for farm enterprises and supporting supply chains in regional areas across Australia, hampering productivity and the uptake of connected ag-tech.

In a bid to help agribusinesses bridge this gap, a multi-disciplinary project team at Innovation Central’s Sydney hub, backed by tech giant Cisco, NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and farm tech/sustainability experts BRALCA, has been developing, prototyping and trialling ‘farm tough’, a range of hardware and software designed to improve the collection and transfer of on-farm data.

For a livestock farm, this includes information on climate, soil moisture, pasture conditions and animal performance. The system, says Cisco, could also be adapted for irrigation, broadacre cropping and horticulture enterprises.

One area of focus for the project team has been the use of LoRaWAN™, an emerging wireless technology able to transport data with low power over large distances.

The new technology, Cisco contends, “will help solve the ‘data drought’ in rural Australia and enable cost-effective and reliable delivery of accurate information, when and where you need it”.

Check out this video from Cisco Australia and NZ about ‘farm tough’.

The ‘farm tough’ Farm Decision Platform is one of several ag-related projects being developed by Innovation Central Australia.

Further information

For more information on Innovation Central, read these AgInnovators stories:

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