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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?

Summary

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.

Objectives

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 and recommendations

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.

Related resources

MLA publications

Options for improving telecommunications across northern Australia for a connected beef industry, MLA final report, 28 November 2019.

Eagles Nest – development and assessment of UAV technologies and data capture for extensive beef production across northern Australia, MLA final report, 25 September 2019.

Assessing value chain improvements in processes, practices and technologies using optimised data capture and analytics (Phase 1 pilot), MLA final report, 4 April 2019.


Downloads

Title Size Date published
2.0MB 22/10/2019

Contracts

Contract No. Title Start date End date Funding type
P.PSH.1077
Terrestrial based digital connectivity at Calliope
10/04/2018 03/07/2019
MDC PSH

This page was last updated on 28/02/2020