Protecting a dairy farmer’s herd from the elements with IoT

For many farmers, their livestock is their livelihood. Our partner needed to help their customer, a dairy farmer, take every measure possible to protect their cows.

A lot can happen to a herd of cows out on the rolling green hills of a UK farm. They tend to wander, which means they can get separated and lost easily — especially dangerous in bad weather.

Being valuable assets (depending on its pedigree, a single cow can be worth anything between 3 – 6 figures!), they’re prone to being stolen.

And if a cow gets sick with something contagious, it can spread to the rest of the herd very quickly; which causes meat and milk quality to plummet.

So the farmer needed a sensor-based IoT solution that would put them in control and help them protect their livestock.

The solution

With many acres of farmland to cover, we needed a long-ranged solution that could transmit the cows’ data— temperature, location, alerts, and the like—in little bite-sized amounts, without using too much power.

Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) was the best option for this, but there aren’t enough base stations in rural areas yet to fully rely on it. So we used a combination of NB-IoT and LoRaWAN connectivity to create an IoT network of long range, low power sensors, feeding a stream of constant livestock data to the farmer.

Geolocation, health monitoring, theft alerts, and more — all through one simple connectivity solution.

The result

Using all this livestock data, the farmer can now plan grass fertilisation patterns ahead of time, separate sick cows from the herd, and rest easy knowing where each of the cows are at any given time.

And with their customer happy, our partner is planning to take this solution to other farms, projecting £750k in revenue.

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