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Connectivity

Overview

MLA invests in research and development (R&D) to improve both on- and off-farm connectivity to enable data collection and transmission for improved business management, decision making and profitability.

New technologies relevant to the red meat supply chain rely on internet connectivity for data and information flow and accelerating the rate of innovation and adoption is integral for the industry to remain globally competitive.

Improving the connectivity of enterprises, particularly in remote areas, offers the opportunity to expand and enhance current livestock management options.

Core activities

Connectivity R&D investments include:

  • investigating ‘big data solutions’ for various sections of the red meat industry
  • trialling ‘Internet of Things’ devices for real time data collection
  • assessing the suitability of current and emerging technologies that could help improve internet connectivity 
  • piloting the concept of ‘digital transformation’ to capture data and generate management systems to assess improvements in processes, practices and technologies.

Benefits to industry

Improved connectivity with efficient speeds and minimal interruptions benefits all businesses across the red meat supply chain through:

  • reducing the need for manual input of data
  • enabling technology, remote sensors and real time information to reduce manual labour to monitor livestock, equipment and resources
  • increasing the speed of monitoring production processes
  • improving access to information to drive productivity gains in livestock.

Connectivity is one of the biggest issues faced by rural and regional communities across Australia, particularly those in remote areas. It is the crucial vehicle for new technologies and determines how well they can enhance productivity, management and even community wellbeing. Reliable connectivity will ensure the timely flow of data and information across the industry and accelerate the rate of innovation and adoption of technology – an integral part of our industry remaining globally competitive. Read on to see how MLA’s connectivity projects are tackling this issue.

Project title

Objective

Date published

P.PSH.1018 - High speed wireless link (with solar infrastructure) evaluation pilot (Qld beef producer: case study)

To evaluate and demonstrate how a connectivity system could work in parallel with Skymuster.

24 May 2020

P.PSH.1056 - Evaluation of Connectivity and Digital Solutions for Vertically Integrated Beef Operations – Stages 1 and 2

To evaluate the feasibility and commercial options of data transfer across a vertically-integrated beef company.

8 December 2019

B.GBP.0041 - Options for improving telecommunications across northern Australia for a connected beef industry

To identify the connectivity needs of northern Australia pastoral operations; to survey current and emerging land and satellite connectivity options and their potential in the context of extensive pastoral operations; and to identify and communicate the range of connectivity solutions available to pastoral operations that maximise internet and phone connectivity within, and between, regional and remote locations.

19 August 2019

P.PSH.1077 - Terrestrial Based Digital Connectivity at Calliope

 

This project is a proof-of-concept with an overall objective of improving productivity through technology support for small to medium cattle enterprises that have limited connectivity.

27 September 2019

P.PSH.1168 - Connectivity and Evaluation Design

 

This project enabled 40 MLA producers to complete a Field Solutions “connectivity road map assessment”.

May 2020

P.PSH.1046 - Understanding the value of farm specific sensors with LoRaWAN

 

The main objectives of this project were to; install LoRaWAN network coverage across eight identified properties; install nominated sensors on each of the eight properties; work with other sensor providers to install additional trials using LoRaWAN; assess network and sensor performance, integration and technology issues as well as other value-added opportunities for IoT on farm on a quarterly basis; and to undertake pricing model analysis for sensor connections.

3 September 2020

P.PSH.1112 - Evaluation of connectivity and Internet of Things solutions for Murchison House Station (Not published, with ML)

Provide optimised Internet Access services by using Wi-Fi Technology to extend NBN services from Kalbarri to Murchison House Station; demonstrate and test using IoT across Murchison House Station to provide weather data, remote monitoring and control of water systems and mustering system; field day to demonstrate benefits and efficiency provided by use on technology in extensive livestock operations; and document efficiencies and benefits with regards to use of technology in extensive livestock production.

22 December 2020

P.PSH.1049 - MDH Feedlot and Homestead – WAN and Wide area Wi-Fi solutions (Not published, with ML)

To determine if the network upgrades undertaken at MDH meet the below project objectives.

 

22 April 2021

P.PSH.1020 - Stanbroke Chinchilla Feedlot – WAN and Wide area Wi-Fi  (Not published, with ML)

To determine if the network upgrades undertaken at the Stanbroke Chinchilla Feedlot were successful in achieving greater efficiency in day-to-day operations, assisting with effective livestock control and decisions, and enabling more effective management through real time information and feedback.

16 April 2021

P.PSH.1021 - Producer Connectivity Engagement

 

To host a connectivity demonstration showcasing working mobile communications equipment (used in the field); to demonstrate working solutions and discuss individual producer requirements; and to register producers for connectivity evaluation and design studies, and their interest for future innovative R&D investment.

17 January 2021

P.PSH.1052 - Sandalwood Feedlot – WAN and Wide Area Wi-Fi Solutions (not published, with ML)

The project aimed to improve staff connectivity around the site and to the outside world to achieve greater efficiency in day-to-day operations, more effective livestock control and decisions and smarter management informed through real time information and feedback.

19 January 2022

P.PSH.1179 - Making real farms Smart – Mixed Sheep Ag Tech

To develop, install and evaluate a whole-of-farm connectivity solution and monitor the productivity and efficiency impacts of autonomous on-farm connectivity and IoT systems and IoT devices.

In progress

P.PSH.1182 - Integrated digital connectivity solution using long range wireless high-speed internet link to connect several adjacent properties: Build, commission & test

This project will clarify the capacity of a mixed cloud-based connectivity solution to provide reliable connectivity in northern pastoral systems. 

In progress