Agriculture Technology and Adoption Centre Internet of Things and Sensor Systems

Internet of Things and Sensor Systems

JCU is leading the way with digital innovation by utilising affordable and integrated sensoring systems that communicate with digital platforms. These innovative systems seek to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of agricultural operations and enhance the quality of products. Several applications, such as The Digital Homestead Project, develop and use a long-range, low-power wireless sensor platform to monitor a wide variety of homestead issues (cattle location and size, feed or water availability, etc). This combined with data from drones, satellites and other sources inform efficient management of pastures and operations.

Case Study

cows in a paddock

Applying new technologies to enhance biosecurity and cattle quality

The vast natural environment of Northern Australia supports the cattle industry; however, biosecurity threats have substantial negative impacts. Conventional management of such threats are not suited to such broad, harsh landscapes, with weeds alone costing the Australian agricultural industry $1.5 billion to control and a further $2.5 billion in lost production.

JCU researchers are working with industry partners Tipperary Group of Stations and Sensand to apply new technologies to develop and trial a data-driven, strategic weed management plan in a remote region. At Tipperary Station (around one million acres) a range of weeds and pests limit cattle productivity and impact natural assets. This project will improve quality and quantity of fodder for cattle resulting in higher herd density and greater beef mass. It will do so by developing a full Internet of Things ecosystem (communications network, sensors and drone data, analytics and visualisations) that will deliver a data-informed, real-time decision support tool for strategic weed management.