Farming is a tough industry, requiring long working hours, in difficult conditions, with uncertain results. The job can be even more challenging because rural locations typically have difficulty in getting the type of internet connectivity most of us now take for granted.
However things are beginning to change. ‘Aiir’ – the connectivity solution from NVT Group company Aiir Networks – is currently being introduced to several farms across the United Kingdom. One of these is Upper Nisbet Farm in Jedburgh and the farm’s owner Robert Neill is keen to point out how beneficial internet connectivity can be to the agricultural industry.
Robert was awarded ‘Farmer of the Year’ for 2017-2018 at the Farmer Weekly Awards. He is the oldest of the three Neill brothers, who all run their own farms in the Northumberland area. Robert set himself apart due to his dedication to raising the standards in farming for himself, the environment and the community. Robert’s forward-thinking attitude has led to the introduction of various forms of modern technology in the farm to benefit his work, whilst saving him valuable time and money. He admits that the farming industry does not always use a lot of technology, but he believes it is important to utilise everything possible to look after the welfare of his animals, whether it be sensors, electronics or cameras.
“In the beef industry there’s not a lot of tech being used, and we as farmers have really got to use every item in the toolbox to allow us to look after the welfare of our animals. So, whether it’s sensors on tails to alert us a cow is imminent, or electronic tags so we can scan barcodes, or calving cameras. I can look at the cows at any moment, anywhere and check on them.”
One of these particular technologies is helping Robert to keep his livestock safe. A pedometer style tracker is attached to the cow’s tail when it is near the time expected to give birth. This connects with Robert’s iPad which sends an alert when the cow is showing signs of distress, such as a lot of tail motion, meaning calving could be imminent. This allows Robert to be there at vital times and save the calf if any troubles arise. This simple but effective piece of technology has saved the lives of many of Robert’s livestock in the past.
The technologies that Robert has introduced all rely on the farm having reliable and stable high-speed connections, which are being provided by Aiir Networks. The solution can transform traditional work practices, and increase levels of security, safety and accurate monitoring and reporting in the agriculture industry and beyond. Conventionally hard to reach areas now no longer need to live without the benefits of 21st century technology.
About Aiir Networks
Aiir Networks specialises in the design, implementation and support of wireless connectivity solutions. Working predominantly on the challenges of bringing connectivity to rural Scotland, the company is engaged on projects across agriculture, aquaculture, renewables and community broadband programmes. Aiir Networks’ vision is for a fully connected Scotland where all communities are empowered through sustainable digital networks that support global communications, world leading education platforms and a globally competitive business environment. Find out more about Aiir Networks in Agriculture here.
If you would like to find out more about improving the connectivity and technologies of your rural business, contact us here.