Farmers finding out what the sensors say

Tasmanian farmers taking part in the testing of our sensors and systems can now see for the first time the information collected by the high-tech equipment on their farms.

Participants in the Alpha Trial are from this week being given access to new smartphone apps that report in real-time a range of data that will help them to better understand what's happening on their farms and make decisions accordingly.Sense-Co's Libby Graham shows the app to Viticulture Manager Danny Belbin from Frogmore Creek Winery

The sensors and apps report on a number of conditions such as soil temperature at various depths, soil moisture, and solar radiation.

The testing of the apps will allow farmers to have input from the start on what data is most-useful and how it can best be presented to them.

Ensuring the information is relevant and tailored to end-users' needs is a vital step as Sense-Co, the University of Tasmania's commercial spin-off of Sense-T, moves to create a product that can be marketed to farmers in the coming months.

The trial sites include a wide range of agricultural businesses including vineyards, broad acre pasture, dairy, annuals, biannuals, berries and floriculture.

The Alpha Trial is just one part of the Sense-T program, with extensive research tackling challenges in viticulture, aquaculture, beef, dairy, water management and supply chains.

Around 100 scientists from UTAS and CSIRO are involved in the projects, which have also involved the installation of hundreds of sensors across Tasmania.

Published on: 12 Nov 2014