Scuppered by web delay

On 20/05/2019 by admin

B&W Rural agronomists Peter Birch, Rob Long, Bradley Donald and Sophie O’Neill flying a Quadcopter drone at the agronomy business’ head office.
Nanjing Night Net

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Unfortunately though, limited mobile internet access is still a critical issue for rural Australia, which is arguably hindering the advancement of agriculture and technology.

Australian Farm Institute executive director, Mick Keogh said farmers were frequently having to meet compliance systems when selling their produce.

Mr Keoghsaid some processors require producers to show full veterinary and chemical records before they accept crops or livestock.

Several systems have been introduced to make it easy for producers to record this information from the paddock or cattle yards and have the data transferred via cloud.

Without reliable mobile internet access though, Mr Keoghsaid these systems weren’t available to farmers and they were instead relying on recording important data in their pocket notebooks.

“It results in something that should be able to be completed from the cab of the tractor or the cattle yards, taking several hours to do,” he said.

About four years ago, B&W principal, Peter Birch, Moree, recognised drone technology as a valuable tool for agriculture and farming.

Mr Birch’s agronomy business offers clients access to an AgEagle aerial system.

The AgEagle imagery is used to determine crop vigor, identify hail and spray drift damage and assess fertiliser requirements.

Starting from about $3/ha, B&W use the AgEagle on property to stitch together a field map for clients –this is the process of taking hundreds of images taken by the AgEagle and turning them into one single image.

In the United States, Mr Birch said the AgEagle is able to send data through 4G technology, allowing it to instantaneously stitch together a field map before the drone lands.

Here, because of poor mobile coverage, the technology isn’t able to work to its full extent.

Mr Birch said when they fly the drone, they use an SD card to store the images it takes –they then download the card’s content to a laptop where image processing can take anywhere between four to 10 hours.

Mr Birch said the lack of connectivity in the bush was a real challenge and something that hindered the ability to use farm technology to its full extent.

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