Bringing down the risk of crop failure

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Farmers are discovering how to bring down the risks of crop failure by using IoT technology to reveal hidden secrets on their farms.  riot7 are making it easy for farmers to do this everyday.

UK crop yields have been affected by adverse weather in recent years.  Technology can’t change the weather, but it can provide a dashboard to reveal how crops, soil and livestock environments are performing.  In some cases, having this information can make the difference between crop failure or preventative action.  Introducing riot7, a company whose founders have been working for three years on making this technology accessible to UK farmers, and who are now offering affordable and easy to use solutions to provide farmers with the intelligence they need to make better management decisions.

riot7 farming solutions enable this intelligence by offering a range of wireless sensors to measure things of interest to a farmer; soil temperature, moisture levels, humidity, rainfall, ambient temperature and more.  The sensors send data using a wireless technology that’s been used by military and space agencies for decades  .  Using this technology, a sensor can take measurements every twenty minutes, send data up to five miles away, and can operate on a single battery for up to ten years.

The sensors communicate with a gateway, installed on the farm, which relays the sensor data to riot7 where it is stored and made available to the farmer through a dashboard.  Using the dashboard, a farmer can access information; for example,

  • Alerts when temperature and humidity levels mean that conditions are ripe for a crop disease outbreak
  • Track ‘Growing Degree Days’ to more accurately predict the stages of crop development and pest life cycles
  • Monitor the conditions in barns and poultry units to ensure the temperature and humidity levels are within a specified range

The riot7 team have been working with this technology for farming customers and agritech innovation centres for three years.  During that time they have repeatedly observed two challenges, which they believe have restricted the uptake of this type of technology.   Firstly, where farmers have attempted to build these solutions themselves, sometimes part funded by government grants, they generally don’t have the IT knowledge to connect everything together in order to realise any value.  Secondly, although there are a number of niche IoT solutions already on the market place, it seems that farmers could easily end up with several costly contracts to manage and several different dashboards and apps to use if they want to extend beyond the limits of one solution.

riot7 solutions are provided as fully configured solutions, which means that the sensors and gateways are already configured to send data to riot7 servers.  The sensors just need to be positioned in suitable locations on the farm; they don’t need to be configured.  The dashboards will display this data as soon as the sensors are positioned.   Once up and running, riot7 keep watch to ensure everything is operating correctly.

riot7 solutions are extensible, which means a farmer may opt to start with just one or two sensors but can add additional sensors as the need arises, without having to sign up for another contract or use an additional dashboard.  For example a farm may decide to start with soil sensors to monitor soil conditions, and then extend the solution to monitor conditions in a barn or poultry unit.

riot7 recommends that customers start with the minimum number of sensors needed to provide immediate value, with the understanding that this can be extended in the future to provide additional monitoring.  As the needs of every farm is different, riot7 invite enquiries through their website www.riot7.co.uk/contact-us, by email info@riot7.co.uk or by phone 0333 242 0611.

Further information

Please contact Eamonn Lawler ( eamonn@riot7.co.uk / 07775 111911 ) with any queries.

See www.riot7.co.uk/farm for details on our farming solutions

 

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About Author

Editor of Agronomist and Arable Farmer as well as responsibility for the Agronomist and Arable Farmer and Farm Business websites. After 17 years milking cows on the family farm John started writing about agriculture in 1998 and has since written for a variety of publications and has developed a wide circle of contacts within the industry. When not working John is an avid follower of Stoke City.