When every drop counts: Schneider Electric transforms agriculture with the Internet of Things for sustainable farming – Transform
In the grassy Canterbury Plains of New Zealand, Craig Blackburn raises cattle and sheep in a line of work with a long tradition, in which he keeps a close eye on crops, land, weather and water.
But Blackburn blends modern technology with his agricultural roots to manage the 990-acre Blackhills farm, a complex, bustling operation with 2,100 cattle and 800 sheep. The farm runs on irrigated water from the scenic Rakaia River, and Blackburn uses SCADAfarm, an industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solution, to monitor and manage his water use.
“Every day I adjust my pivots and pumps for a variety of reasons — shifts in the wind, rain levels, crop requirements or local regulations,” Blackburn said. “Now I can monitor and control my irrigation system easily from my mobile phone, saving me hours of time not spent driving around the farm.”
The mobile, cloud-based solution is transforming agriculture with remote controls and advanced analytics, and empowering the global movement of sustainable farming to conserve resources. Agriculture uses 70 percent of the world’s available fresh water, a shrinking supply with a growing demand expected to increase by 55 percent in the next three decades.
“We’ve been helping transform the industry for a long time, and sustainable farming and water conservation are ways we’re delivering on our commitment to sustainability,” said Rob McGreevy, vice president of information, operations and asset management at Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation.