Environment monitoring delivering benefits to farmers

First published by mIoT.com.au

Ensuring food availability for Australia’s future is a top national priority.  Making sure the country can feed itself well into the future is vital for our children and their children. When CSBP Fertilisers came to mIoT with a desire to help their customers manage key resources in the growing of crops, they knew that mIoT’s Captis Internet of Things network could help.

Using more than 3.5 million square kilometres of coverage offered by their leading Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) network, the Captis range saved key water resources in Western Australia and helped keep costs down while freeing up time for patient care in Victorian hospitals. Bringing the leading IoT network and monitoring solutions to farmers for CSBP’s agricultural supply chain presented a fresh new challenge.

In partnership with Wesfarmers subsidiary CSBP Fertilisers, mIoT wanted to apply the NB-IoT network and Telstra Environment Monitoring to remotely measure the volume of liquid fertiliser product, Flexi-N, stored in tanks on farms. CSBP was interested in finding a cost-effective way to implement this technology. mIoT’s Captis were able to work with them to develop a commercially viable approach.

Together they developed a solution that uses technology to collect data on the levels of fertiliser in the tanks and can alert CSBP when levels are low so the resupply process can commence automatically. More than 150 Telstra Captis Environment Monitoring IoT sensors were quickly deployed onto tanks around Western Australia, with 26 growers taking part in the pilot during the 2019 growing season.

Before the deployment of IoT sensors, CSBP’s challenge in managing its supply chain was the sporadic and manual nature of orders coming from farmers. They needed to be able to meet the demand for fertiliser and reduce lead times to supply the fertiliser during peak periods. In order to remain competitive, CSBP wanted to offer farmers an automated solution that removes the need for them to manually read fertiliser level readings on a tank gauge then telephone CSBP to order another load of fertiliser.

The company is now looking at a further deployment for this tank measuring solution to be used in water tanks, diesel tanks and weather stations across Western Australia.

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