Edward Ludemann runs Fernlea Farm in Western Australia. Like most Australian farms, it’s large. Long driving distances make monitoring and controlling the various farm infrastructures time-consuming. When issues occur, they are only discovered when farm staff are on-site, by which point they may have been persisting for days. Edward approached InnovateIOT to find a solution.

The challenge

Fernlea Farm has 9 water tanks and troughs that the sheep rely on for water. When infrastructure issues occur, especially during summer when the water consumption is high, the tanks can become completely empty. It leaves the farm staff on the back foot, relying on getting water carted in until the problem is fixed and bore water is pumped to refill the tanks.

The farm’s 2 pump controllers are manually operated. With the furthest being a 45 km round trip, workers can spend up to 5 hours a week driving back and forth to control the pumps.

A Pump Control System that helps connect farmers with their pumps.

The solution

InnovateIOT supplied Fernlea Farm with 9 Tank Level Sensors that allows the level of their tanks and troughs to be remotely monitored via a phone app. To solve the pump control challenge, InnovateIOT supplied the farm with 2 Pump Control Systems that once installed, allow the pumps to be controlled remotely through an app.

The results

  • Up-to-date water tank monitoring available via phone app
  • Water tank monitoring ensures early warning in case of infrastructure failure (e.g., broken valves, pipes, etc.)
  • No more long drives to the pumps, as both pumps are controlled remotely

The cost of driving

As mentioned, Australian farms are vast. This means driving adds up, consuming both time and fuel, increasing financial costs for the farm’s budget. Let’s take Edward’s pump controllers as an example. He has two pumps that get turned on and off multiple times a week.

Before – Driving to operate pumps

Time spent driving (weekly)Estimated distance (weekly)Fuel cost (weekly)Labour cost (weekly)Total monthly cost
Up to 4-5 hours weekly200 – 300 km$85$250$1340
Estimations are approximate

After – Using 2 Pump Control Systems to control remotely pumps

Time spent driving (weekly)Distance (weekly)Fuel cost (weekly)Labour cost (weekly)Total monthly cost
0 hours0 km$0$0$30

After an initial purchasing expense of $1376 for 2 pump controllers, the cost to operate Fenrlea Farm’s pumps is reduced to a $30 a month subscription fee, and farm staff have been freed to focus on more important tasks around the farm.

For more information about how IOT devices can optimise your farm, contact InnovateIOT.