About the On-Farm Internet of Things Trial

The On-Farm Internet of Things (IoT) Trial is now underway 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

Round one of the trial is underway. Farmers taking part in round one can find out more information about the application process and resources on the trial.

The Catalogue of Apps & Devices

Agriculture Victoria has released the Catalogue of Apps & Devices for the trial. The catalogue is a tool to help farmers participating in the trial to select IoT technologies to test on their farm

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

Expressions of Interest for round one of the trial are now closed

Information and dates for subsequent rounds of the On-Farm IoT Trial will be published here.

If you would like to be notified when the next funding round of the trial is open, please sign up for email updates.

Information for IoT technology suppliers

Agriculture Victoria has released the Catalogue of Apps & Devices for the On-Farm IoT Trial.

The catalogue contains a range of IoT technologies that have been deemed suitable for the trial. Farmers taking part in the trial can select apps and devices from 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

Watch our short video to learn how the trial will work.

Digital technology is reshaping how we work across industries, including agriculture.

Agriculture Victoria is supporting Victorian farmers to seize the opportunities of digital technology through the $12 million On-farm Internet of Things Trial.

On-farm Internet of Things or IoT, allows devices to collect and send data remotely to provide information to farmers in real time. IoT devices can measure information such as soil moisture, chemical application, tank or vat levels, and livestock health. As well as monitor fences, vehicles, and weather. Through the trial, Agriculture Victoria is partnering with farmers to trial IoT solutions on their farms. This includes sharing the cost of installing IoT technology.

The trial will be held in four regions and across four farm types. Maffra: dairy; Tatura: horticulture; Serpentine: sheep; and Birchip: grains. As farmers know, a lack of reliable connectivity can be a barrier to making the most of digital technology.

That's why the government is delivering IoT network coverage at each of the four trial sites.

This will ensure farmers have the connectivity they need to fully benefit from emerging digital technology. Once network coverage is established, a dedicated Agriculture Victoria staff member in each region, will partner with participating farmers to select IoT devices to test on-farm.

Agriculture Victoria will provide funding to help farmers invest in these technologies and will work with farmers to evaluate the impact that these technologies have on farm performance.

A catalogue of On-farm IoT apps and devices is available for the trial. Farmers can use the catalogue to choose apps and devices best suited to their farm business.

Potential solutions include, measuring soil moisture and nutrient levels, locating livestock, and monitoring water supply, quality, and delivery. It's about giving farmers the ability to control the situation on their farm, at their fingertips.

In partnership with Agriculture Victoria, the trial will allow farmers to take a low risk approach to testing IoT technology on their farms. The aim is to help farmers use IoT to make more informed decisions, to save time and money, and improve farm performance. The trial will allow us to work together to see what works on farms and what doesn't.

Positioning Victorian farmers at the cutting edge of digital agriculture.

Are you ready to investigate the next frontier of agriculture?

Find out how you can get involved at agriculture.vic.gov.au/digitalag

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 regions. Network connectivity for the trial is expected to cover the local government areas of:

  • Wellington for dairy
  • Buloke for grains
  • Loddon for sheep
  • Greater Shepparton and parts of Moira (Cobram and surrounds) for horticulture.

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

Map of Victoria showing the location of the four farm types and locations: grains trial at Brichip, horticulture trial at Tatura, dairy trial at Maffra and the sheep trial at Serpentine.

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, including selecting 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 four Industry Technology Coordinators will provide specialised support for farmers participating in the trial:

  • Andy Clark – Horticulture at Tatura
  • Mark Sloan – Sheep at Serpentine
  • Mark Gould – Grains at Birchip
  • Yan Lai – Dairy at Maffra

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 is establishing a Catalogue of Apps & Devices. Participating farmers will be able to select technologies from this catalogue with a financial contribution from Agriculture Victoria.

An Industry Technology Coordinator has been appointed to each trial region. The coordinators will recruit farmers to participate in the trial and provide specialised support for farmers to select technology to trial.

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

Grant funding for the trial will be delivered in multiple funding rounds. The first funding round is a pilot round, during which Agriculture Victoria will seek to enrol 100 farms (25 farms from each trial region).

In subsequent rounds, the On-Farm IoT Trial will be expanded to include up to a further 500 farms.

Outcomes of the pilot round will be used to inform the design of the expanded trial and subsequent funding rounds.

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.

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

  • be a commercial farm that is either a:
    • dairy cattle farm in the Maffra trial region
    • horticulture farm in the Tatura trial region
    • broadacre cropping farm in the Birchip trial region or
    • sheep farm in the Serpentine trial region
  • be a business with an Australian Business Number (ABN)
  • be a legal entity
  • 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 future 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 the above criteria, farmers wishing to participate in the On-Farm IoT Trial must agree to:

  • complete a Farm IoT Plan for their business, with support from an Industry Technology Coordinator
  • select at least one IoT solution to trial on their farm for at least two (2) years
  • contribute to the cost of the Apps & Devices to be trialled
  • share data generated by the Apps & 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?

Applications to the On-Farm IoT Trial are currently closed.

Applications will only be accepted during an open funding round. Open and close dates for each funding round will be advertised on the Agriculture Victoria website.

If you would like to be notified when the next funding round of the trial is open, please sign up for email updates at the bottom of this page.

Applications to round one of the trial follow a two-stage process:

  1. An Expression of Interest (EOI) to determine farm business eligibility to participate in the trial. This stage is now closed.
  2. An Application for Funding, to select suitable IoT apps and devices to test on farm and apply for a grant to contribute to the costs of selected apps and devices.

The application process for round one is as follows:

  1. Read the Applicant Guidelines carefully to establish your eligibility
  2. Complete an online EOI form and submit it before the EOI close date
  3. Your EOI will be assessed and, if successful, you will be contacted by an Agriculture Victoria Industry Technology Coordinator
  4. Develop your Farm IoT Plan with the support of an Industry Technology Coordinator
  5. If invited by the department, submit your online Application for Funding, including the Farm IoT Plan, to apply for funding to trial IoT solutions on your farm
  6. Your Application for Funding will be assessed and, if successful, you will be required to execute a Grant Agreement with the department and be enrolled in the On-Farm IoT Trial as a Participating Farmer.

What documents do I need to submit an EOI?

Expressions of Interest are currently closed.

You will need to provide your ABN to submit an EOI.

If you are the trustee of a trust, you will also need to print and sign a Trustee Declaration Form and submit it as part of your EOI. The Trustee Declaration Form can be accessed online through the EOI application process.

The department may also contact you to request additional supporting documentation to determine your eligibility to participate in the On-Farm IoT Trial.

When can I submit an EOI?

Expressions of interest for round one of the trial are now closed. A call for further EOIs will be announced prior to each funding round for the trial.

EOIs will only be accepted by the department during an open EOI round. Open and close dates for EOI submissions will be advertised on the Agriculture Victoria website.

If you would like to be notified when EOIs are open, please sign up for email updates at the bottom of this page.

How much is the grant worth?

For round one of funding, a maximum grant amount of $30,000 (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 selected to purchase in your Farm IoT Plan.

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?

Farmers who submitted an eligible EOI for round one of the trial will be invited by the department to apply for a grant. If invited, you will be advised of the close date for applications and will be required to complete and submit your Application for Funding before the close date.

Dates for funding rounds, once available, will also be published on the Agriculture Victoria website.

What is the Catalogue of Apps & Devices?

The Catalogue of Apps & Devices will support farmers to select on-farm IoT technology to test under the On-Farm IoT Trial.

The catalogue contains a range of IoT technologies that have been deemed suitable for the On-Farm IoT Trial. It will be available for farmers to select apps and devices to test on-farm under the trial.

The catalogue will include details such as functionality, cost and network compatibility for each of the IoT technologies listed, as well as the contact details of suppliers for the trial.

When will the catalogue be available?

The full Catalogue of Apps & Devices including specific item and costing details will be available to eligible applicants who have been selected to take part in round one of the trial through the Expression of Interest process.

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 parts of Moira Shire (Cobram and surrounds). 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 of Maffra, Tatura, Birchip and Serpentine for the two-year trial period.

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. More information will become available as the IoT network is rolled out to the trial regions.

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

Agriculture Victoria considered the location of applicants’ farms during the EOI process to determine the feasibility of establishing IoT network connectivity on farms under the trial.

Agriculture Victoria has contacted applicants to the EOI for round one to inform them of the outcome of their EOI.

Connectivity is expected to cover the majority of the local government areas of Greater Shepparton, Wellington, Loddon, Buloke and parts of Moira Shire (Cobram and surrounds).

More information will become available as NNNCo’s IoT network is rolled out to the trial regions.

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: 03 Aug 2020