ICT International’s LoRa-based precision environmental sensors enable smarter crop monitoring with a data-centric approach.
Semtech Corporation announced that ICT International, an Internet of Things (IoT) solution provider for environmental applications, and Definium Technologies (Definium), a developer and manufacturer of IoT gateways and devices, are leveraging an advanced array of products based on Semtech’s LoRa® devices and the LoRaWAN® protocol to improve crop yield in Australian avocado plantations with a data-centric approach to farming.
“Avocado crops are highly susceptible to stress at key times throughout their growing cycle,” said Dr. Peter Cull, Director of ICT International.
“Utilizing plant physiology sensors based on Semtech’s leading and proven LoRa devices enables the simple and accurate monitoring of moisture flow inside the plants, and allows farmers to respond quickly to stressors to improve yield. As a result, farmers maximize profit while reducing expenses related to product waste.”
“As the challenge of extracting high yields from crop farming continues to increase due to changing weather conditions, accurately monitoring environmental crop stress is crucial to ensuring we produce enough food to feed the world,” said Mike Cruse, CEO at Definium Technologies.
“Our collaboration with ICT International and Semtech to deliver precision environmental sensing solutions has broad applicability across the agricultural spectrum. These applications include grazing, row cropping, viticulture, and nut orchards, in addition to smart cities and mining.”
ICT International and Definium deployed a suite of LoRa-enabled sensors throughout a large-scale avocado farm in New South Wales, Australia to identify the ongoing causes of low crop yield. Through the use of soil moisture sensors, sap flow sensors, vapor-pressure deficit sensors, and weather stations, the data accurately identified periods of low soil moisture and high plant water stress, and matched those to excess fruit drop.
Smart agriculture applications are a proven vertical market for LoRa devices, which offer farmers and ranchers several advantages, including up to 30 miles of network coverage from a single LoRaWAN gateway in rural areas. Farmers across Australia are currently in the process of integrating ICT International and Definium’s LoRa-based sensors into their own smart irrigation systems to better address and respond to crop stress and significantly increase yield.
“From measuring environmental conditions influencing crop production to tracking livestock health, smart agriculture applications based on LoRa devices offer a leading flexibility and ease of use for farmers to quickly reduce environmental impact, maximize yield and minimize expenses,” said Marc Pegulu, Vice President of IoT Product Marketing for Semtech’s Wireless and Sensing Products Group.
“Commercial and independent farms alike are increasingly turning to LoRaWAN connectivity, leveraging its flexible and proven capabilities to help create smarter and more sustainable operations.”