Innovative remote farm sensing tools will be put to the test on a farm in Perthshire.
Balgay Farm in the Carse of Gowrie is taking part in a project to demonstrate how sensors can be used to gather data from across a farm and help inform decision making.
The project is run in partnerhsip with SmartRural – a susbsidiary of farm co-ops body SAOS – and rural insurer NFU Mutual.
It aims to demonstrate the use of SmartRural’s LoRaWAN technology on a commercial farm.
LoRaWAN is a radio communication system, which receives data from simple, battery-powered sensors up to 15km away through a base station installed on a farm building.
It will be used at Balgay, along with a series of sensors, to collect information on things such as rainfall, soil temperature and moisture, and the location of cattle and machinery.
The data will be collated together in one place and made accessible through a smartphone app or an online platform from a desktop computer.
“LoRaWAN technology is a potential game-changer in providing usable information on family farms across the UK, regardless of size or location,” said Paul Lindop from SmartRural.
“The range of sensors available is growing by the day and these offer a cost-effective solution for capturing meaningful data and allowing farmers to make informed decisions at the right time. Under ideal conditions, coverage can extend for many miles and each base station can communicate with thousands of installed sensors.”
The 1,000-acre Balgay Farm is part of the Aird Farming Group and owner, Iain Graham, said he hoped LowRaWAN could help improve the efficiency of the farm and the quality of life of the people working there.