SILICON Valley is invading our nation, at least in terms of the way we talk.
While the internet of things, or IoT, might seem like harmless tech-speak, it encapsulates the hype around what is essentially incremental improvement.
The IoT is simply the concept of connecting tools to the internet and allowing them to send and receive data, so it is in fact an ‘internet of tools’.
We aren’t trying to change the world, just make incremental improvementsJohn Pattinson
While touted as the next agricultural revolution, giving it a new name, does not make it new. Goanna Telemetry, now a part of GoannaAg, the new operating brand of Discovery Ag, has, in a roundabout way, been invested in Australian telemetry and network solutions for more than 15 years.
GoannaAg, chief executive officer, Alicia Garden, recently announced the completion of the companies first capital raising, securing $3.35 million in growth funding from prominent public and privately-owned businesses including Westpac Banking Corporation, GrainCorp Operations Pty Ltd, and Michael Hintze Premium Farms Holdings Pty Ltd (MHPF).
The funding adds to the initial investment made by Delta Agribusiness and Mr David Murray and will be used used to deliver on key business objectives, including the further development and deployment of its on-farm sensor solutions along with the roll out of its (LoRaWAN) network for the cotton industry.
GoannaAg, chief data officer and executive director, John Pattinson said the company aimed to solve problems of cost, connectivity and complexity in big data.
“We bring it down to the prism of the farmer, how to make this stuff work on farm, how to apply it, and how to understand your return on investment,” he said.
“We aren’t trying to change the world, just make incremental improvements.”
Mr Pattinson said the LoRaWAN technology was ideal for things like rain gauges, sensors and fuel monitoring.
“It is designed to just capture little packets of data, so you can’t make a phone call or download Netflix, but for sending and receiving little packets it is perfect and very cost effective,” he said.
“We can offer something as simple as knowing how much fuel is in the tank, through to a moisture monitor for irrigation forecasting.”
Ms Garden said the LoRaWAN network would initially be installed across the Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area and the Gwydir, Macintyre, Namoi and Macquarie Valleys, with instillation slated for completion next month.
“Through this capital raising, we are thrilled to be able to focus on completing the network and expanding our local teams and field technicians in key regions, so we can meet growing demand in our products and provide timely support to more of our cotton growers,” she said.