Faced with the reality of recent floods and droughts, water has become an increasingly valuable commodity – especially for cattle farmers. Keen to improve water management and increase water security, Wendouree worked with PLF Australia (Precision Livestock Farming) and M2M Connectivity to develop a custom water monitoring solution for its water infrastructure.
Wendouree is a 100,000-acre cattle farm located in Central Queensland. Approximately 430 kilometres west of Rockhampton.
Wendouree’s water infrastructure includes a mixture of bores, tanks and turkey nests which it uses to manage the supply of drinking water for its cattle.
PLF is a fast-growing agriculture technology firm and long-term partner of M2M Connectivity. PLF specialises in custom IoT solutions designed to monitor water, soil, weather and livestock.
Until recently, the process of monitoring essential drinking water for cattle had to be done manually using farm vehicles. Monitoring water levels is a time and resource intensive process and doesn’t accurately track water levels and consumption rates by the cattle.
Doug Carruthers, owner of Wendouree required a solution which allowed them to track water levels and monitor water use more effectively.
Wendouree approached PLF to develop a sensor-based water monitoring solution for their tanks and turkey nests. To do this, PLF partnered with M2M Connectivity to source hardware and design a custom LoRaWAN solution.
LoRaWAN was chosen due to the fact it can wirelessly communicate with devices over long distances and connect to the internet via a gateway, requiring only a 3G or 4G signal at the gateway.
M2M Connectivity’s Design Services team evaluated the hardware before integrating it into their LoRaWAN networked server. M2M also managed API integration with the RAYVEN data visualisation platform – ensuring data was accurately decoded and displayed on an online dashboard customised to the client’s requirements.
The final solution combined one Gemtek LoRaWAN Gateway positioned at a high point of the property and Ellenex hydrostatic level sensors with their integrated sensor nodes – installed at each water point.
Working with PLF and M2M Connectivity, Wendouree has successfully deployed a custom smart water monitoring solution.
Wendouree’s management and key staff can remotely track water levels at each location and have access to new data transmitted to the cloud-based RAYVEN platform at hourly intervals. They also receive critical alerts when water levels drop below predetermined levels.
The Gemtek LoRaWAN Gateway, provided by M2M Connectivity, has ensured a strong signal is maintained across more than 15kms in some areas of the property.
“With M2M Connectivity we were able to source the best technology and integration expertise to deliver the best outcomes for Doug and the Wendouree property,” says Paul Stapleton, Managing Director of PLF. “The amount of support we receive, especially in project design and evaluation, from M2M is outstanding and we look forward to continuing our partnership as the demand for technology that delivers meaningful insights for the agriculture sector grows.”
Key outcomes of the implementation, include:
- Gemtek LoRaWAN Gateway – ensuring a strong signal and reliable data stream across Wendouree
- Seamless API integration – ensuring Wendouree can access sensor-based information online with ease
- Robust hardware – ensuring Wendouree’s investment lasts, even in a rugged agricultural environment.