One of New Zealand's largest vegetable producers now has granular control over its irrigation thanks to the internet of things (IoT).
With over 600 productive hectares of fields, the Hira Bhana whānau are using smart technology delivered by partners Adroit and Spark to develop a more sustainable operation and safeguard the business.
“Our family hold extensive knowledge of the local climate, our nutrient-rich soils, water, plants and geography, fine-tuned over years of trial and error, and passed down through generations of our kids and Hira Bhana employees," said Bharat Bhana, son of founder Hira Bhana.
However, as the business expanded, staff had more and more to do and sometimes could not get around the crops as much as the earlier generations.
"As an example, with this new technology, we can see exactly where and when water is needed and we have actually found that we can use less water on crops than we were putting on in the old days," Bhana said.
"Water is always an issue when it comes to efficient farm management and sustainability, plus as the government imposes new requirements on water management, nitrate leaching, soil runoff and reporting, Hira Bhana is looking for more efficient ways to keep a closer eye on their operations."
The platform deployed by Adroit means workers can easily access real-time data through an app to improve decision making on the farm.
Data can be viewed on any device with easy to understand dashboards and reporting, and can be exported for use with other programs, Agar said. This allows the Bhana team to set parameters and automate farming processes, resulting in consistent, high-quality decision making and high quality produce.
"We recognised the pace at which the industry is evolving and the demand which is ever growing," Bhana said. "This technology will help us create a more sustainable farm so the Hira Bhana name continues to be a staple name in the fresh fruit and vegetable industry for years to come.”Read more:'Improvement needed' as Spark's cloud and security unit lags group
Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.
Tags agricultureInternet of ThingsIoTsparkAdroitBhana