About the On-Farm Internet of Things Trial

Round 2 of the On-Farm Internet of Things (IoT) Trial is now underway.

This trial aims to support the uptake of IoT on Victorian farms and test the benefits of IoT technologies across horticulture, sheep, dairy and broadacre cropping.

Information for applicants

Farmers who wish to take part in round 2 can find out more information on information for applicants.

The Catalogue of Apps & Devices

Agriculture Victoria has released the Catalogue of Apps & Devices for the trial. The catalogue is a guide to help farmers participating in the trial to understand what technology is available and which suppliers they may purchase from.

Find out more about the catalogue.

Trial network connectivity

Agriculture Victoria is partnering with leading Australian IoT network provider NNNCo to deliver IoT network connectivity to the trial regions.

Read more about IoT network connectivity

Information for IoT technology suppliers

The catalogue is intended as a guide and contains a sample range of IoT technologies that have been deemed suitable for the trial. The catalogue is not an exhaustive list of technology on offer by approved suppliers. Farmers taking part in the trial can select apps and devices from suppliers listed in the catalogue to test on-farm with a financial contribution from Agriculture Victoria in the form of a grant.

Suppliers of IoT technology for the catalogue were identified through a Request for Proposal process and this process is now closed.

Read more about the trial technology

About the trial

The trial is part of the Victorian Government’s $45 million Connecting Victoria initiative to improve digital technology and infrastructure across regional Victoria.

Through the On-Farm IoT Trial, Agriculture Victoria will partner with up to 600 farms to trial on-farm IoT technology and evaluate the impact these technologies can have on farm performance.

Under the trial, Agriculture Victoria is supporting the delivery of IoT connectivity to the trial regions and partnering with participating farmers to test the impact of IoT on Victorian farms.

The trial is taking place across four farm types and five regions. Network connectivity for the trial is expected to cover the local government areas of:

  • Wellington Shire
  • Buloke Shire
  • Loddon Shire
  • City of Greater Shepparton
  • Moira Shire

The trial will run for approximately two years and support the adoption of IoT on hundreds of farms across the four farm types and five trial regions:

IoT farm locations

The On-Farm IoT Trial will support on-farm adoption of the IoT by addressing barriers to uptake, including:

  • Lack of connectivity –  Agriculture Victoria is partnering with NNNCo to deliver IoT network connectivity to each of the four trial regions.
  • Digital literacy – Industry Technology Coordinators with expertise in farm management and digital technology will support farmers participating in the On-farm IoT Trial. This may also include helping farmers to select IoT solutions to test that are matched to their on-farm needs.
  • Capital to invest in on-farm IoT technologies – Agriculture Victoria will contribute to the cost of purchasing IoT apps and devices for farmers taking part in the trial.

Agriculture Victoria will partner with participating farmers to test the benefits of IoT for their farm business. The impact of IoT on farm performance will be assessed with the aim to provide the agriculture sector with a clear rationale for investment in IoT.

Outcomes of the trial will also drive the Victorian Government’s longer-term response to the opportunities of digital agriculture.

Meet the trial coordinators

Our 3 Industry Technology Coordinators will provide specialised support for farmers participating in the trial:

  • Andy Clark – Wellington Shire, Moira Shire and City of Greater Shepparton
  • Mark Sloan – Loddon Shire
  • Mark Gould – Buloke Shire

More about the trial coordinators

How does the trial work?

Agriculture Victoria is partnering with NNNCo to establish IoT network coverage across each of the four trial regions. This network will be available for farmers to connect to.

Agriculture Victoria has compiled a Catalogue of Apps & Devices to guide farmers and present a sample of available technology. Participating farmers will be able to select technologies provided by suppliers listed in this catalogue with a financial contribution from Agriculture Victoria.

Three Industry Technology Coordinators have  been appointed for this trial. The coordinators will assist farmers to participate in the trial and can provide specialised support for farmers to select technology to trial, if requested.

Agriculture Victoria will evaluate the impact that the selected technologies have on farm performance.

Who can take part in the trial?

Full information about who can participate in the On-Farm IoT Trial and the process for applying for a grant can be found in the applicant guidelines.

Download:

To be eligible to participate in the trial, farms must:

  • be a commercial farm that is either a:
    • dairy cattle farm
    • horticulture farm
    • broadacre cropping
    • sheep farm
  • be located in either the:
    • Loddon Shire
    • Buloke Shire
    • Wellington Shire
    • City of Greater Shepparton
    • Moira Shire (selected areas)
  • be a legal entity
  • be a business with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • meet all industrial relations obligations as an employer in accordance with the National Employment Standards
  • have a broadband internet connection (for example, 4G network, NBN, ADSL)
  • agree to participate in evaluation activities.

To be considered a commercial farm business, farm turnover must exceed $50,000 per annum under normal business conditions (a year in which average yields/productivity is achieved and with no adverse climatic conditions such as drought).

Sheep farms must be either a mixed enterprise with at least 100 head of sheep, or a specialised sheep (meat/wool) producer.

In addition to meeting this criteria, farmers wishing to participate in the On-Farm IoT Trial must agree to:

  • select at least one IoT solution to trial on their farm for at least 2 years
  • contribute to the cost of the apps and devices to be trialled
  • share data generated by the apps and devices with the department during the On-Farm IoT Trial
  • enter into a Grant Agreement with the department
  • participate as an On-Farm IoT Trial case study, or in On-Farm IoT Trial demonstration events.

What is the application process?

The application process can be found on the Information for applicants page.

How much is the grant worth?

For round 2 of funding, a maximum grant amount of $25,000 (excluding GST) will be awarded per eligible application.

The grant amount awarded will depend on the total cost of the apps and devices you have applied to purchase in your grant application and whether the solution selected meets the assessment criteria.

You will be required to make a minimum co-contribution of $1 for every $2 grant money awarded, based on the cost of apps and devices excluding GST.

When can I apply for a grant?

Applications for funding are open now and will close at 5pm on Friday 26 February 2021.

What is the Catalogue of Apps & Devices?

The Catalogue of Apps & Devices is intended as a guide to support farmers in selecting on-farm IoT technology to test under the On-Farm IoT Trial.

The catalogue contains a sample of IoT technologies that have been deemed suitable for the On-Farm IoT Trial. The catalogue is not an exhaustive list and farmers are encouraged to speak to suppliers listed in the catalogue to find a solution that best suits their farm business. Farmers may only purchase technology from suppliers listed in the Catalogue of Apps & Devices.

The full Catalogue of Apps & Devices including specific item and costing details is currently available to applicants.

How will the trial regions be determined?

The trial regions will be defined by the extent of IoT network coverage. Connectivity is expected to cover the majority of the local government areas of Greater Shepparton, Wellington, Loddon, Buloke and selected parts of Moira Shire. The objective is to maximise the total area covered.

A Request for Proposal (RFP) for IoT network connectivity was released in 2018. The RFP invited network providers to submit a proposal to deliver IoT network capability to the regions previously mentioned .for the duration of the trial.

NNNCo was successful through this process and will partner with Agriculture Victoria as the network provider for the trial. NNNCo is a leading Australian IoT network provider with experience deploying and managing networks to support cities, utilities, logistics and agriculture.

NNNCo will roll out LoRaWAN across the trial regions. LoRaWAN is a long-range network that wirelessly connects devices to the internet. For more information contact one of the three Industry Technology Coordinators facilitating  this trial.

How can I find out if my farm is in a trial region?

Contact a trial coordinator for information specific to your farm location.

Have more questions?

See our answers to frequently asked questions.

Get email updates about the On-Farm IoT Trial and digital agriculture

Get email updates about the On-Farm IoT Trial and digital agriculture.

Page last updated: 25 Jan 2021