Looking for a place to begin your Agtech journey? Water sensing is the place to start!!
Every day on Australian farms, many hours of labour are spent monitoring and identifying the level of water and other liquid products. Operational costs associated with this simple, yet highly important task can be significant.
For some time now technology developers and suppliers have been working extremely hard to bring to market sensors and monitoring systems that are robust and reliable in the harsh Australian farming environment. They recognise that farmers need these devices to deliver quality data and value to their operations, at a price point that they are willing to accept.
The great news is that today, water and level sensors available to farmers really do represent a “no brainer“option. There are a large number of companies offering excellent water and liquid monitoring products within their product catalogues.
Liquid and water measuring, and monitoring sensors are giving Australian agricultural managers accurate and regular level readings inside water tanks, diesel fuel tanks, troughs and dams. The information is fed back to producers via easily accessible web-based dashboards and apps.
These systems help producers to ensure levels are adequate and allow the potential for early leak detection and water-use tracking. All while actively reducing the risk of work health and safety issues and assisting to reduce operating costs.
There are several different types of sensors that can be used on-farm to measure levels, with each being designed to suit specific applications. They are also able to operate using multiple types of connectivity making these sensors a realistic and viable option for everyone, no matter where you live or work.
Early intervention alerts or trigger warnings can be created to make producers aware that a level has fallen outside of pre-set levels, giving real peace of mind whether you are on-farm or away.
A sound example of use case and value proposition sits within a livestock operation.
It is well recognised that sheep and cattle drink a large amount of water daily, with their water requirement increasing when the weather is warmer. On average, dry sheep and cattle grazing on improved pastures will drink 5 litres and 50 litres/day respectively, with these amounts increasing significantly in the summer. Daily intake increases in water consumption due to season, raising the importance of ensuring sufficient supplies are available. Livestock left without water in the middle of summer can lead to disaster.
The “simple” water run is time consuming and often requires many kilometres of driving just to check a water point. For large sized rural businesses, the scale of this chore is increased. The use of sensors can mean big reductions- such as a huge number of kilometres of driving per week and cost savings for fuel, wear and tear on vehicles and a material reduction in WHS risk through fatigue management. There is also the positive environmental outcomes via a reduction in carbon emissions.
Regardless of your size or scale, the reallocation of valuable labour units to other areas of the operation can be a major improvement, as opposed to checking water points.
There are multiple Return on Investment calculators available today to assist producers to predict the rate of return on the cost of these devices. By inputting indicative costs and management details a very quick calculation will help producers to see the benefits really do stack up. Often the payback period is months not years!