Manx Technology Group (MTG) and Rural Business Consultancy (RBC) will be undertaking technology trials in the Isle of Man, exploring the use of Smart Farm technologies with farms and food producers. Using Internet of Things (IoT) technology, the initial trials will be focused on soil nutrient analysis (NPK), livestock monitoring, drone crop analysis, and asset tracking.
Joe Hughes, CEO of MTG
“We have IoT systems deployed throughout the UK, Europe, and the US in areas such as air quality, soil condition, and river level monitoring. There is an increasing international interest in agricultural sensor technology, so it seemed logical to pilot the solutions on the Island.
Ultimately – MTG is a technology company, so being able to partner with RBC has allowed us to leverage their knowledge and understanding of farming. The partnership allows us to ensure any technology solution benefits the farmer, producer, or consumer.”
Rural Business Consultancy
Chris Kneale, MD of RBC, was educated at Harper Adams University College and has over a decade’s experience working as an agricultural consultant. Chris has worked with farmers, processors, and landowners to manage and improve their business. Chris is also a farmer himself, farming at Ballachristory Farm, Jurby. Chris added:
“Technology is playing an ever-increasing role in producing food and managing the environment, especially with the effects of climate change. The potential of the work with MTG is huge for farmers worldwide. I’m excited to see this Smart Farm project progress and positively impact farm business profitability.”
The technology trials have been supported by Digital Isle of Man’s IoT Accelerator initiative which is designed to promote and facilitate the use of IoT for the social and economic development of the Island.
The Digital Agency operates an Island-wide IoT network that allows battery-powered sensor technologies to communicate with the cloud – using an ultra-low-power, long-range wireless network.
Sarah Ennett, IoT Manager for Digital IoM, commented:
“I’m excited to be working with MTG and RBC on smart farming trials, AgriTech is an area of IoT that can make a real difference to the bottom line for our farming community and potentially improve our local environment.
This is a perfect example of why we want to encourage collaboration, working with technology partners and industry experts, to test if a relatively small investment to capture information about the world around us, can deliver savings and increase productivity. We will share the results of our findings in more detailed articles and case studies once it has been running for a while.”
Proof of value
The tech trials are already underway at Ballachristory with; weather stations, gate sensors, soil moisture, and leaf sensors deployed, with more farms to follow.
“The idea is simple. Work with farmers to understand their operations, then trial the technology locally – to benefit the environment, reduce costs, improve profits, or enhance productivity.
Any solution must deliver value and benefit the farmer – they’re the real judge of success. If we can do that – then it becomes a global opportunity for both MTG and RBC which also benefits our local economy.”
If you would like to learn more about the Smart Farm technology trials, contact Manx Technology Group or Chris at RBC. For more information about the Isle of Man IoT Accelerator, contact DigitalIOM. The technology will be deployed to more farms over the coming weeks.
The idea is simple. Work with farmers to understand their operations, then trial the technology locally – to reduce costs, improve profits, or enhance productivity.
Smart Farm technologies
- Soil temperature and moisture sensors
- Weather stations
- Leaf moisture sensors
- NPK IoT Sensors
- Asset tracking
- Gate sensors