Queensland Livestock Producers Get Tech Savvy

This article was featured in Queensland Country Life and The Land news titles and profiles a success story out of Queensland where a livestock producer has been using water monitoring solutions to check the levels of multiple watering points for his livestock, in-near real time, without having to lift a finger (well, maybe just one - to open up a notification on his mobile phone). 

Read on to learn more, or to search for water monitoring solutions that might be right for your property go to our Water and Nutrition Monitoring page for Livestock.

A cattle producer in Central Queensland has identified animal welfare as an unexpected benefit of new water management technology.

Sensors and cameras on water tanks, dams, bore, troughs and turkey nests are already saving this producer time and money and proving to be a good return on investment.

The technology is helping manage the livelihood of livestock.

In a collaborative project with Meat & Livestock Australia, Vodafone and Hitachi Consulting, Will Wilson of Calliope Station, teamed up with several agtech vendors including farm management software, remote connectivity, and water sensor providers listed on the popular AgTechFinder.com website.

Technology installed on the property now includes monitor watering devices across water points for 7000 cattle across the 28,000-hectare cattle property inland from Gladstone.

Before installing the water monitoring system, the usual weekly water run to check all 16 water sources would absorb a full day, and a lot of fuel, but it was essential to ensure livestock had enough water.

The water monitoring devices fitted to monitor each watering point are also supported by data from weather stations and rain gauges and soil moisture sensors in nearby paddocks.

WATCHING WATER: An example of an easy to set up system with near real time monitoring that can be interfaced with your mobile device.

The network reports in real-time, allowing Mr Wilson to monitor water resources anywhere on his property. A daily water run is easy now. He can do it without leaving his office.

"So far so good," Mr Wilson said.

"Water management is something I am very interested in and if innovative technology can help then I won't hesitate to give it a go.

"This technology is good and it will be great for agriculture and from an animal welfare aspect it looks very good.

"Livestock need constant access to water and the monitors can only help in that regard."

It is understood the water tank monitoring system across the large remote property in Calliope cost about $50,000 to install but will pay for itself in less than five years.

Calliope is a huge property with more than a dozen remote monitoring points. Setting up something like this on a smaller property can be done for much less than this.

Many of these solutions are listed on the one-stop agtech information site AgTech Finder.com. The site is independent and backed by industry. Visitors will find most products available from Australian agtech providers and international companies as well.

Spokesman Michael Crebar said the site could significantly reduce confusion for farmers trawling the internet for information about the right agtech for them.

A BIT EASIER: The 16 water storages on Calliope Station are spread over plenty of country and it normally takes a day to visit each one to check on water levels.

"Buying agtech is just like buying any other piece of farming equipment: you've got to do your research. AgTech Finder makes that process a lot easier," Mr Crebar said.

"You can find hundreds of agtech products in one place to help you work smarter from genetics and breeding technologies through to connectivity devices, weather monitors and farm management software.

Farmers can search based on sector, then drill down further for advice and possible solutions."

The site features product videos and information including pricing models, installation process, maintenance requirements, data management and the number of units the company has sold.

Farmers can also read success stories, case studies and handy tips on how to deploy agtech to make their job easier and their businesses more profitable.

Mr Crebar said agtech was fast changing from a "nice to have" to a "must have".

"Agtech has taken off over the last few years. Farmers are becoming more technologically savvy and the agtech companies are improving their products and services to deliver what farmers need. Everybody wins." 

This story was first published as 'Time to be tech savvy' on Queensland Country Life and The Land on June 2nd, 2020

Before you go!

View the other articles from the June 22nd AgTech News Dashboard