Internet of things for smarter irrigation in Australian sugarcane

Wang, E., Attard, S., Everingham, Y., Philippa, B., and Xiang, W. (2018) Internet of things for smarter irrigation in Australian sugarcane. International Sugar Journal, 120. 1437. pp. 698-702.

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Irrigation management is a considerable time investment for many sugarcane farmers. Better irrigation practices can lead to improved yields through less water stress and reduced water usage to deliver economic benefits for farmers. In some cases reduced runoff and deep drainage from excess irrigation can also deliver benefits to the environment. The Internet of Things (IoT) is about allowing things to sense, to communicate, and thus create opportunities for more direct integration between the physical world and computer-based systems. IoT has been transforming all spheres of life into smart homes, smart cities, and smart healthcare. Today’s farms can leverage IoT to remotely monitor sensors, manage and control harvesters and irrigation equipment, and utilise artificial intelligence based analytics to quickly analyse operational data combined with third party information, to provide new insights and improve decision-making. This project focuses on improving irrigation management by integrating the auto-irrigation system (e.g., WiSA) and IrrigWeb (a sugarcane irrigation scheduling tool) to provide a smarter irrigation solution using IoT. The system generates a two-way communication channel between these two platforms, which allows them to share data. Specifically, the uplink program (WiSA to IrrigWeb) was developed and deployed on a Burdekin farm. It connects the farmer’s WiSA to IrrigWeb, by uploading irrigation data automatically. The farmer’s irrigation records are automatically loaded into IrrigWeb. This saves the farmer time and makes irrigation scheduling more efficient. Another benefit is that the farmer can now see the exact amount of water being applied to each field and make modifications to the irrigation management, if required. Moreover, automating the data transfer from WiSA to IrrigWeb will greatly improve the potential for uptake and use of technologies like IrrigWeb. On the other hand, the downlink program (IrrigWeb to WiSA) will be developed to automatically apply scheduling from IrrigWeb to WiSA. Combining the uplink and downlink programs, a smarter irrigation management system can automatically control sugarcane irrigation, and ultimately make sugarcane irrigation fully autonomous.

Item ID: 55593
Item Type: Article (Scholarly Work)
ISSN: 0020-8841
Keywords: internet of things, smart irrigation, sugarcane farming
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Funders: National Environmental Science Program (NESP) Tropical Water Quality (TWQ) Hub
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2019 02:35
FoR Codes: 09 ENGINEERING > 0906 Electrical and Electronic Engineering > 090699 Electrical and Electronic Engineering not elsewhere classified @ 50%
07 AGRICULTURAL AND VETERINARY SCIENCES > 0799 Other Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 079901 Agricultural Hydrology (Drainage, Flooding, Irrigation, Quality, etc) @ 50%
SEO Codes: 82 PLANT PRODUCTION AND PLANT PRIMARY PRODUCTS > 8206 Harvesting and Packing of Plant Products > 820603 Sugar Cane (Cut for Crushing) @ 50%
89 INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION SERVICES > 8902 Computer Software and Services > 890202 Application Tools and System Utilities @ 50%
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