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Optimization of field pasture using IoT is now possible thanks to Farmote Systems and Actility

Farmote is a breakthrough pasture optimization system that combines satellite-based multispectral technology with real-time data from ground Motes. Farmote fused AI engine takes the guesswork out of pasture and grazing management. The devices connect through a pervasive ultra-low-power LoRaWAN® network, powered by Actility’s ThingPark™ industrial LPWAN platform.

Grazing rotation, Fertilizing & Watering: farmers’ daily decisions directly impact yield

Pasture quality and quantity varies by the day according to weather conditions, location, and past use for grazing. As a result, it is difficult for farmers to optimize the location of cattle every day, although this is a key decision which directly influences yield and profitability. This problem is particularly complex in New Zealand where farms can extend over 300 square miles, and optimization of productivity per unit of surface has been a priority topic for agriculture research.

Farmote Systems, a Smart Agriculture company based in New Zealand with ongoing deployments in many regions of the world (New Zealand, Australia and Europe), has allowed farmers to solve this problem by monitoring the amount of existing pasture on their farms and optimizing grazing management to maximize the profitability of the input invested in their farms.

This is all possible through Motes. These IoT devices embed laser sensors that evaluate the quantity and moisture of pasture daily. This is achieved by processing raw laser data through AI algorithms to derive pasture quality metrics which are directly usable by farmers.

Less effort for farmers, but increased profits  

The Motes communicate through a wireless network leveraging LoRaWAN® technology. The ThingPark® industrial network system dynamically optimizes LoRaWAN® transmission parameters and fully leverages macro-diversity over the farming area to provide robust data collection. All wireless base stations, each with a range up to 15km, collaborate to provide seamless indoor and outdoor coverage across the farming domain.

The Farmote application converts data collected from Motes into daily grass height estimates and quantity of pasture per unit of surface. Leveraging this essential metric, the system can recommend optimal cattle location every day. The value provided by Farmote AI does not stop at daily cattle dispatching but also takes a forward-looking approach to yield optimization. By analyzing historical grass growth trends, and combining with automated satellite image analysis, the system also provides recommendations as to when and how much to fertilize each area and also provides diagnostics for some cattle distress situations.

Farmote Systems helps farmers to increase productivity and drive profitability by making farms more efficient and effective. Making the correct decisions at the right time is crucial – the Farmote System provides precise pasture data and automated cattle location and fertilizing recommendations, allowing farmers to make the best decisions at every moment.

Integrated IoT technology accelerating time to market  

Motes are unique on the market, as no other wireless IoT devices are designed to stay permanently on the field gathering continuous pasture quality information.

In order to fully package the solution and streamline deployment of Low-Power WAN networks, Farmote turned to Actility and signed for the ThingPark Embedded program, allowing solution providers to embed Actility’s industrial LPWAN network management technology -trusted by over 50 public LPWAN networks worldwide- into their vertical products and deploy anywhere their business requires. This way Farmote can deploy on-demand private LoRaWAN® networks, or leverage public LoRaWAN networks through the Actility ThingPark Exchange roaming and peering hub. ThingPark Embedded has a flexible pricing model aligning to the needs of solution providers and its all-inclusive licensing allows hassle-free adaptation to the requirements of each field deployment.

“We chose Actility’s ThingPark Embedded offer because it facilitates our business model. It offers industrial stability and allows us to save time and have lower engineering costs, we also liked the alignment of pricing structure with our business model and level of IoT expertise with local support in many countries… all much needed for our global expansion”

says Richard Barton
Founder & Managing Director at Farmote Systems.

 

“We are happy to support Farmote in their go to market by facilitating LPWAN network deployments. Farmote fused AI approach combining ground data collected by wireless Motes and satellite image analysis brings powerful quantitative optimization technology at the service of farmers. This is all about making it robust and simple to use, and ThingPark Embedded helps ensuring stable daily pasture measurements”
 

said Olivier Hersent
Actility’s CEO.

About Actility:

Actility is a world leader in Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN) industrial-grade connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things. Actility provides its ThingPark® network core and platform to deploy, operate and maintain public and private wireless IoT networks within a unified, scalable and versatile network infrastructure. Over 50 public network services providers and thousands of enterprises trust the ThingPark platform all over the world. Actility also provides patented ultra-low power geolocation technologies through its subsidiary Abeeway. ThingPark Market supplies the largest selection of interoperable IoT gateways, devices and apps to simplify and accelerate deployment of use cases.

About Farmote:

Farmote is a company founded in New Zealand in 2016, which offers a smart, innovative pasture monitoring system that combines satellite-based multispectral technology with accurate on-ground Motes to take the guesswork out of pasture and grazing management.

Farmote covers all the stages of the deployment of its solution to look beyond the complexity of data and focus on the useful insights offered by their system. It is mainly intended for farmers who are looking to optimize their resources.