Case study: How the NBN is changing the way we farm

Tim Rethus runs a cropping farm near Horsham, VIC. His family have been in the business since 1947 and have quadrupled their enterprise since then.

“We farm all crops. We’ve got wheat, barley, lentils, canola, oats, hay and we’ve been dabbling a bit with safflower,” Tim said.

The implementation of faster, more reliable connectivity on his farm has helped his family’s farming business grow and develop as well as increase the autonomy and accuracy of their daily practices.

“We have always been pretty innovative on this farm and willing to adopt new technologies.

“Now, we are trying to go large scale and yet still retain that local granularity.

“We use a lot of data that we are collecting off our equipment such as receivers on tractors, boom sprays and seeding rigs. We are using the data to build variable rate maps we can apply to our farming and all of this has to be transferred wirelessly” he said.

Tim uses data for a range of different things including farm management software that is used for data storage, financial work, quality control and legislative requirements.

“We are crunching all of the data and maps we are collecting and using that to output results that will actually improve our business by being more granular.

“At seeding time our seeder has sensors on it collecting data. we collected more than 40GB of data this seeding program just from measuring soil quality, seeding characteristics and more.”

What is Sky Muster?

The Sky Muster™ satellite service delivers the nbn™ broadband access network to homes and businesses in regional and remote Australia, via two state-of-the-art satellites. So, people across mainland Australia and Tasmania, and remote islands such as Norfolk Island, Christmas Island, Lord Howe Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands can now enjoy nbn™ powered plans through Sky Muster™ satellite providers.

As well as the roof satellite dish installed on the home or business, Sky Muster™ satellite connections also require an nbn™ supplied modem to be installed at the point where the cable from the satellite dish enters the premises. This device requires power to operate, and can only be installed by an approved nbn™ installer or provider.

Find out more here.

Production of this case study was made possible using funding from the Commonwealth Government’s Small Business Digital Champions project.

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