Harvest uses Vodafone IoT network to deliver smart farming solutions

25 May 2018

At this year’s Field Days, remote monitoring company, Harvest, is launching the country’s first remote electric fence monitor and a stand-alone remote water tank monitor. 

Harvest Managing Director, Peter Munn explains, “Any farmer will tell you two of their biggest pain points are knowing their fences are up and working, and there is water in the tanks, particularly if they’re planning to be away.  We’ve come up with a cost-effective solution to both using our remote monitoring technology, connected by Vodafone’s Internet of Things (IoT) network.”

The Harvest remote electric fence monitor sends a txt message if the voltage drops below a certain level.  There’s also an app for your phone that enables farmers to monitor their fences from anywhere at any time. 

“Farmers depend on electric fences, and knowing there’s a problem in real time is invaluable to them.  For starters, they can prevent stock from winding up on the road or over-feeding,” says Munn.

Harvest’s new remote water tank monitor, which farmers can buy as stand-alone units, is likely to have applications beyond farming according to Munn.  “For the thousands of people with holiday homes on rain water who rent them out on BookaBach or Airbnb, this will let them know when they need to get a tanker in or ask guests to go easy on the length of their showers,” he says.

Munn says what’s at the heart of both innovations is peace of mind and knowing your stock are safe. 

So, how does it all work? 

The answer is through Internet of Things (IoT) technology, which Munn believes will drive digital transformation in farming. 

Scott Pollard, Vodafone IoT Manager explains, “The Internet of Things is about delivering data driven insights that help businesses make informed decisions, which ultimately increase productivity, efficiency and sustainability.”

“The data is collected through global IoT SIMs placed in devices, much like the SIM in your phone, which Vodafone manages through one global platform on more than 600 mobile networks.  The data is then accessed through easy to use apps or software.

“Worldwide, Vodafone’s Managed IoT Connectivity Platform helps farms and businesses in 182 countries, and we connect more than 60 million devices, including about 7000 for Harvest here in New Zealand.”

Harvest’s latest fence and water tank innovations are ideally suited to Vodafone’s latest IoT network technologies called LTE-M and Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT). 

Pollard explains, “These new IoT network technologies open up a whole new world of possibilities, enabling connectivity in previously inaccessible places and with much greater battery life.

“Today, less than1% of all the things that could be connected are connected, often due to being geographically remote like many farms, underground such as drainage pipes, or even underwater. Our new IoT technologies remove these barriers.

“Harvest’s latest products are great examples of how IoT can transform farming in really practical, meaningful ways, and Vodafone’s excited to help enable the future of smart farming.“

Harvest uses Vodafone IoT network to deliver smart farming solutions