The LoRa technology network by Semtech Corporation, National Narrowband Network Co (NNNCo) & Goanna Ag have been rolled out for smarter irrigation management solutions to Australian cotton growers. NNNCo is deploying a network based on the LoRaWAN protocol that will leverage LoRa devices and wireless radio frequency technology to build IoT apps.
The network, an extension of NNNCo’s existing LoRaWAN-based network coverage, covers an area of about three mn hectares, stretching across Murrumbidgee irrigation area and the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Gwydir MacIntyre, Namoi, and Macquarie valleys. NNNCo plans to expand the LoRaWAN-based network throughout 2019. The network will be used to bring low-cost Cloud-connected sensors and data analytics to growers, combining soil moisture data via installed probes, local weather data and satellite imagery to optimize irrigation scheduling.
“Every day a cotton crop is under stress can cost a grower over $100 per hectare,” said Alicia Garden, CEO of Goanna Ag. “We help growers schedule and apply just the right amount of water to use on crops at just the right time so they can optimise performance and profit. Connectivity has always been an issue for regional and rural areas due to lack of coverage and the relatively high cost of connection. Semtech’s LoRa Technology and LoRaWAN-based networks have proved ideal for agriculture due to the low cost of sending essential data on very low power.”
As this cotton season begins, NNNCo and Goanna Ag will deploy their first 100 gateways in New South Wales and Queensland, along with over 2,000 sensors across cotton farms. LoRa-based sensors will include soil moisture probes, rain gauges, weather stations, and water and fuel tank monitors among others. NNNCo is delivering a nationwide network and end-to-end platform to enable solutions for agriculture, cities, utilities, buildings and logistics. NNNCo is also providing the essential data layer platform (N2N-DL) behind the interface for farmers, simplifying the aggregation of data of any device into the visualization and analytics platform.
“The network will significantly drive down the cost of connection for data communication and the cost of sensors using this technology,” said Rob Zagarella, NNNCo Founder & CEO. “This will make the difference between isolated usage and widespread deployment of the sensors which will in turn provide more granular information and higher value to the industry. NNNCo has a strong partnership with Goanna Ag and has been working with them on network extension across regional areas for over 12 months.”
“IoT solutions for smart agriculture based on Semtech’s LoRa Technology enable farmers to easily create smart solutions to better monitor their crops and improve their yields,” said Vivek Mohan, Director of IoT in Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group. “NNNCo and partners such as Goanna Ag are delivering smart solutions that help farmers keep up with increasing demands while closely monitoring overhead costs. Commercial farms are increasingly turning to LoRa Technology with its flexible and proven capabilities to help maximise their farm’s efficiency and create a smarter planet.”