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Terrestrial Based Digital Connectivity at Calliope

Did you know improving on-farm internet connectivity could generate a 57% return on investment within five years?

Project start date: 10 April 2018
Project end date: 30 November 2019
Publication date: 22 October 2019
Project status: In progress
Livestock species: Sheep, Goat, Lamb, Grassfed cattle, Grainfed cattle
Relevant regions: Dry
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Significant advances in technology and data collection have been made in the agriculture and livestock industries, however, their use is often limited by a lack of internet connectivity.

This project was established on a Central Queensland grazing property to evaluate the use and efficiency of the 'Internet of Things', which rely on a strong internet connection to monitor water levels in dams, weather data and soil moisture.

Improving internet connectivity to remote properties will advance the digital transfer of information, reduce the need for manual input of data, increase the speed of monitoring production processes and improve overall on-farm connectivity.


The Terrestrial Digital Connectivity Project is a proof-of-concept with an overall objective of improving productivity through technology support for small to medium cattle enterprises that have limited connectivity.

Key findings

Key areas where cost savings were made included:

  • general business process improvement
  • better access to information to drive productivity gains in animals
  • reduced staffing costs associated with labour and vehicle use.

The deployment of the 'Internet of Things' network was shown to provide a 57% and 151% return on investment after 5 and 10 years, respectively.

Data analysis and prediction through an improved internet connection was able to provide real-time information of water levels, weather data and soil moisture levels, which enabled efficient management of resources by property managers.

Benefits gained from improved business operations and labour cost savings exceeded $26,000 per year. The cost-benefit analysis shows that the system is cash flow positive within 2.5 years, with a total benefit and cost-saving of $54,555 after five years.

Benefits to industry

This project demonstrated that a range of data sensors connected via a mobile network can provide adequate connectivity to allow real time data collection and monitoring across remote properties, which can be cost effective within a few years.

MLA action

MLA is continuing the on-going engagement with technology provider, Hitachi, to scope out future research opportunities that can benefit overall productivity and profitability of the Australian red meat industry.

Future research

The results of this project provide a comprehensive industry solution, which can be expanded to include more internet-based tasks. For example, people and vehicle movements can also be tracked, which can play a major role in occupational health and safety.

More information

Contact email:
Primary researcher: Hitachi Australia Pty Ltd