Rubicon’s FarmConnect has won the Innovation and Technology Award at Elmore Field Days for the second time. Elmore is an Australian event which showcases the latest advances in agricultural technology and innovation.
This year FarmConnect won the award for its recently released Smart Furrow Automation Solution, which replaces the decades-old system of manually irrigating cotton and other row crops with siphons over the channel bank. With farms typically having many thousands of siphons, managing them manually is a very labour intensive and imprecise process.
The solution uses automated BayDriveTM gates to control the flow of water into sections of channel. Water then flows onto furrows through pipes embedded in the channel bank. Each section of channel replaces approximately 150 siphons and irrigates 300 furrows at the simultaneously. In addition to BayDrives, the solution uses smart wireless sensors to remotely collect and monitor field conditions such as water level, pump status, water advance down the bay, and site specific water usage for each section.
Along with enabling remote operation of field devices, the solution senses plant water demand to predict the optimal time to irrigate and adapts irrigation duration to eliminate under or over-watering.
The system is accessed remotely using a laptop, tablet or smartphone and uses cloud software to combine real-time measurements of field conditions with data analytics to run new irrigation programs, improve water use behaviour and monitor the health of the system.
FarmConnect General Manager Peter Moller said “We are delighted to receive the award again for agtech. The industry has been waiting for a proven automation alternative to siphons and the judges recognised the benefits the solution is bringing to the industry in the form of huge labour savings, reduced water use, improved yields and better quality crops”.