News

High-tech savings

By Country News

A growing number of farmers across the country are adopting new technology to monitor water to reduce wastage and improve the health and welfare for both animals and farmers.

‘‘There are over 400000 water tanks on farms across Australia,’’ Australian Agtech firm Farmbot managing director Andrew Coppin said.

‘‘Farmers often spend many hours a week driving to and from these tanks to ensure there are no leaks and enough water is available for livestock.

‘‘But that pastime, often a frivolous and expensive pursuit, is fast changing as more and more savvy farmers around the country now check water levels on their smartphone or desktop.

‘‘Farmers are realising that whilst they closely monitor the costs of all farm inputs, like the amount of diesel fuel in their vehicles, or fertiliser they have on hand, they don’t actively monitor water — arguably the most scarce and valuable resource that has the single biggest impact on their farming business.’’

Mr Coppin said new affordable technology like Farmbot gave farmers the knowledge to prevent unnecessary water loss and accurately manage and plan water resources for the future.

‘‘Farmbot enables farmers to view their water levels in real time, understand their water consumption trends and receive SMS and email alerts if there is a fault or leak impacting their water levels.

‘‘Cattle can survive without food for up to a week but their condition and health deteriorates quickly if they go without water for more than 48 hours which is why water levels are always on the minds of farmers.

‘‘Farmbot uses satellite connectivity ensuring it can operate on the most remote farms, thus reducing one of the serious risks and biggest embedded costs of farm operations — checking water.’’

Farmbot allows users to monitor water in stock tanks, dams, turkeys nests and irrigation channels, all in real time from their smart phone or computer.