Australian Agriculture Is Embracing the Internet of Things

September 19, 2018 - 3 minutes read

To see some of the biggest innovations in agriculture, you’ll have to turn your attention away from the outskirts of Chicago, Cleveland, and other rural areas of America. Instead, let’s take a trip “down under” to Australia!

Australian startups and farmers are working on new ways to utilize the Internet of Things (IoT). It’s a welcome collaboration: by 2050, the farming industry will have to meet the needs of 9.8 billion people worldwide.

Accounting for Everything

IoT development is opening up unprecedented avenues for efficiency. Farmers can manage most details of their daily jobs and their plots of land: moisture, nutrient levels, acidity content, pests, and weather patterns are all easier to monitor now.

Farmers can also track details about their livestock such as health, wellbeing, and even movement down to the minute. Sensors can text farmers when animals get sick or are starting to give birth. And predictive analytics alert the farmer to changes in the health of both animals and crops.

These advancements were sorely needed in Australia. 7% of all cows in the country, about 450,000 total, die prematurely each year, equating to a loss of $700 million in revenue. Farmers improved the productivity of cattle by 20% by placing motion sensor trackers on their cows. Smart Paddock, an Australian startup, is employing IoT to track animals’ sickness and peak healthiness, helping reduce a large number of cattle deaths.

A Growing World Means Growing Needs

When there are hundreds or thousands of cows, sheep, or horses, technology like RFID and GPS can simplify things very quickly. Add drones or similar geo-mapping technology to the farmers’ toolbelt, and you’ve got a highly modernized farm that can keep track of everything!

As the world population grows, so do humanity’s needs. Improvements to technology, transportation, and food storage regulations have helped to curb these demands in the past. But farming will become an even more central part of our survival in the very near future.

It’s great to see Australian farmers and startups coming together for a common cause, and we can’t wait to see this collaborative innovation carry over to other countries.

What other atypical industries are embracing IoT like this? What are your favorite examples? Let us know in the comments!

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