Poor irrigation can mean the difference between robust crop yield or a money-losing crop yield for many farmers. In an innovative application of LoRa technology, semiconductor supplier Semtech Corporation is leveraging its LoRa@ devices and wireless radio frequency technology to help Australian carrier National Narrowband Network Co. (NNNCo) develop innovative irrigation management solutions for Australian cotton growers. The network is being rolled out with Goanna Ag, an Australian agriculture company.
The network is an extension of NNNCo’s existing LoRaWAN-based network coverage and covers an area of about three million hectares. It stretches across across Australia’s Murrumbidgee irrigation area and the Murrumbidgee, Lachlan, Gwydir MacIntyre, Namoi, and Macquarie valleys. NNNCo plans to expand the LoRaWAN-based network throughout 2019. The network will be used to bring low-cost Cloud-connected sensors and data analytics to growers, combining soil moisture data via installed probes, local weather data and satellite imagery to optimize irrigation scheduling.
NNNCo and Goanna Ag will deploy their first 100 gateways in New South Wales and Queensland, along with over 2,000 sensors across cotton farms. LoRa-based sensors will include soil moisture probes, rain gauges, weather stations, and water and fuel tank monitors, among others. NNNCo is delivering a nationwide network and end-to-end platform to enable solutions for agriculture, cities, utilities, buildings and logistics. NNNCo is also providing the essential data layer platform (N2N-DL) behind the interface for farmers, simplifying the aggregation of data of any device into the visualization and analytics platform.
“The network will significantly drive down the cost of connection for data communication and the cost of sensors using this technology,” said Rob Zagarella, NNNCo Founder & CEO, in a statement. “This will make the difference between isolated usage and widespread deployment of the sensors, which will in turn provide more granular information and higher value to the industry. NNNCo has a strong partnership with Goanna Ag and has been working with them on network extension across regional areas for over 12 months.”