In­no­va­tive on-farm tech awarded

Narrogin Observer - - NEWS - Michael Traill

Go­ing for­ward this will be every­where, it’s cur­rently just the tip of the ice­berg.

Leigh Bal­lard

Leigh Bal­lard’s work with Re­gional Com­mu­ni­ca­tion So­lu­tions has earned him the Agri­cul­tural In­no­va­tion Award at the Re­gional Achieve­ment and Com­mu­nity Awards on Oc­to­ber 19.

The award was be­stowed onto Mr Bal­lard for his “SMART Farm­ing” sys­tem.

The sys­tem utilises sen­sors across farms to feed in­for­ma­tion back to farmers on a user-friendly dis­play called MyIn­sight, which can be ac­cessed on any plat­form.

“RCS prod­ucts and ser­vices will be mas­sive game-chang­ers as they en­able re­gional busi­nesses to ac­cess con­nec­tiv­ity and smart tech­nol­ogy more than ever be­fore,” Mr Bal­lard said.

Mr Bal­lard hopes the sys­tem will im­prove on-farm safety, while also im­prov­ing pro­duc­tiv­ity.

The sys­tem al­lows farmers to mon­i­tor real-time soil lev­els, gates, ve­hi­cle GPS, live on-site weather, pumps, CCTV, fuel and wa­ter tank lev­els si­mul­ta­ne­ously. The sys­tem can also pro­vide on-farm wi-fi, al­low­ing farmers to ac­cess the in­for­ma­tion while on the job.

“This gives farmers the op­por­tu­nity to see this in­for­ma­tion live on a dash­board, you don’t have to look at three dif­fer­ent sites,” Mr Bal­lard said. “Go­ing for­ward this will be every­where, it’s cur­rently just the tip of the ice­berg of what the sys­tem can do, it’s be­ing in­volved with the next gen­er­a­tion of farmers to ac­tu­ally get this data and how we can utilise it, to make bet­ter farm decisions.

“There are sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits that SMART Farm­ing im­ple­men­ta­tions will have and this will not only ben­e­fit the in­di­vid­ual farmers but their whole com­mu­ni­ties.” RCS was suc­cess­ful in se­cur­ing the ten­der to im­ple­ment the ground­break­ing tech­nol­ogy SMART Farm­ing sys­tem at the Muresk Agri­cul­tural Train­ing In­sti­tute cam­pus near Northam, which cur­rently owns the tech­nol­ogy.

Pic­ture: Michael Traill

Leigh Bal­lard at the RCS of­fice.

Pic­ture: Leigh Bal­lard

An ex­am­ple of the sen­sors used in the SMART Farm­ing sys­tem.

Pic­ture: Leigh Bal­lard

An ex­am­ple of the Myin­sight dash­board. CCTV is dis­played in the top right hand cor­ner.

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