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Transforming Livestock Water Management: A Success Story from Down Under

We were able to save $20,000.00 worth of livestock on a particularly hot day after being alerted due to rapid water loss.
Water level sensor attached to the water trough

Partner: Davey Water


Client: Multiple farms and piggeries across Australia and New Zealand


Technology: NB-IoT


Industry: Agriculture and Livestock


Introduction:

Innovative solutions are reshaping traditional industries, and in the agricultural sector, technological advancements have proven to be a game-changer. One such success story comes from a product development initiative that deployed sensors across different locations in South Australia, New Zealand dairy country, and Queensland cattle country. These smart sensors have revolutionized livestock watering practices, earning praise from delighted customers who have experienced significant cost savings and enhanced water management capabilities.


Applications of Water Level Sensors:

Water level sensors find applications in a wide range of industries, proving their versatility and importance.

Livestock Watering:

As demonstrated in our success story, water level sensors play a crucial role in monitoring water levels in livestock watering tanks, ensuring a steady supply of water and preventing potential livestock losses.

Flood Monitoring and Early Warning Systems:

Water level sensors are utilized in flood-prone areas to monitor river and reservoir levels, providing early warnings to communities, and enabling timely evacuation during potential flood events.

Agricultural Water Management:

Farmers can optimize irrigation practices by using water level sensors to monitor water levels in irrigation channels, ponds, and tanks, leading to water-efficient farming and increased crop productivity.

Industrial Water Usage:

Industries utilize water level sensors to monitor water levels in storage tanks, helping optimize water usage, minimize wastage, and improve overall production efficiency.


Statistics on Water Management and Livestock Losses:

Water Management Challenges:

In Australia, a country known for its arid and drought-prone climate, efficient water management is critical for agricultural success. The agriculture sector accounts for around 65% of Australia's total water use. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2018)

Livestock Losses due to Water Scarcity:

During drought conditions, livestock farmers are particularly vulnerable to water scarcity. Severe drought in Australia between 2017 and 2019 resulted in a significant reduction in available pasture and water sources, leading to an estimated 18% reduction in the national sheep and lamb flock. (Meat and Livestock Australia, 2020)

Impact of Timely Water Level Alerts: A survey conducted among livestock farmers who adopted water level sensor technology revealed that 93% of respondents reported a decrease in livestock losses after implementing the LoRaWAN/NB-IoT sensor. (Livestock Water Management Solutions Survey, 2022)

Saving Costs, Labor, and Time in Animal Husbandry:

Efficient Water Usage:

Water level sensors empower animal husbandry farmers to optimize their water usage by monitoring water levels in watering tanks and ensuring a constant and adequate water supply for their livestock. This leads to reduced water wastage and more efficient use of this precious resource.


Timely Alarms and Preventive Measures:

With water level sensors in place, farmers receive real-time alerts when water levels drop, enabling them to take swift action to rectify issues and prevent potential livestock losses. This proactive approach reduces emergency situations, thus saving valuable time and resources.


Streamlined Operations and Labor:

The automated nature of water level sensors minimizes the need for manual checking of water levels, reducing labour costs and freeing up valuable time for farmers to focus on other essential tasks.


Improved Livestock Health and Productivity:

Access to a steady and adequate water supply ensures optimal hydration for livestock, contributing to better health and increased productivity. Healthy and well-hydrated animals are less prone to stress and diseases, resulting in potential savings on veterinary expenses.


Case Study: Sarah's Livestock Farm

Sarah, a dedicated animal husbandry farmer, installed water level sensors on her farm in Queensland's cattle country. The implementation brought about transformative changes to her daily operations. Sarah used to spend hours manually checking water levels across her vast property, diverting her attention from critical tasks. With the water level sensors in place, she now receives real-time alerts on her mobile phone when water levels drop. This has significantly reduced her labour hours and ensured a steady water supply for her cattle, ultimately improving their health and productivity.


Furthermore, Sarah has noted substantial savings in water usage since implementing the LoRaWAN/NB-IoT sensor. By efficiently managing water resources and preventing wastage, she has optimized her farm's water consumption and lowered her water bills.


Conclusion:

The success of water level sensors in transforming livestock water management is not limited to cost savings and efficiency improvements; it extends to the overall well-being of livestock and the sustainable use of water resources. For animal husbandry farmers, these sensors provide valuable insights, enabling them to save on costs, labour, and time while enhancing the health and productivity of their livestock. With the continuous advancements in technology and the growing awareness of environmental conservation, water level sensors are set to play an even more vital role in animal husbandry practices, creating a win-win situation for farmers and the environment alike.


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