Irrigation company WaterForce has selected Vodafone to supply a global SIM and cloud-based data management services to enable it to offer overseas its SCADAfarm service that allows farmers to control, monitor and manage their irrigation and pump systems remotely.
WaterForce said that, by incorporating Vodafone’s global SIM, its monitoring and management devices would be able to operate on mobile networks in 70 countries creating export opportunities.
WaterForce CEO Ron McFetridge said that, over the four years since its introduction, SCADAfarm had evolved from an irrigation system with remotely controlled pivots — crop irrigators in which sprinklers rotate around a pivot — o include sophisticated pump station metering and data monitoring capability. This, he said, enables farmers to efficiently irrigate their land and collect useful environment data, which then informs key aspects of their farm’s entire operation.
In addition to making use of Vodafone’s global SIM, WaterForce will shift its data management services into the cloud. McFetridge said: “The data we collect, process and provide back to customers must have integrity - so ensuring it flows through a secure and robust end to end framework is crucial for our business.
“We already use Vodafone’s secure network, but by moving our data management services to the cloud, we’ll make our end customers’ experience even more robust and seamless.”
According to WaterForce, SCADAfarm enables New Zealand farmers to remotely control and operate their pivots from anywhere in the world via their laptops, tablets or smartphones.
The company says farmers are using SCADAfarm for various on farm management operations including: managing flow demands; effluent pump control; loading and selecting variable rate irrigation plans; day to day operations such as:remote stop / start and forward/reverse control of the pivots; ‘stop in slot’ functionality, assisting farmers with planning field works, ensuring safe parking positions when on farm works need to occur, and adding to the wind safety planning; monitoring pivot operation and fault finding.