IoT Agricultural Specialist Helps Australian Nursery Become More Profitable

By Nathaniel Prince

Cameron's Nursery personnel report improved error detection and crop yields thanks to a solution from Agnov8 that uses Libelium's wireless sensors.


Cameron’s Nursery, a grower and wholesale provider of perennial plants to retailers in eastern Australia, is raising its bottom line thanks to an Internet of Things solution provided by Agnov8, an Australian company that delivers specialized agricultural services.

Agnov8 made use of a range of sensors from Libelium’s Waspmote Plug & Sense! line for its solution. Two Smart Water sensors—one installed in the drainage pit and the other in the main dam—monitor quantitative aspects of the nursery’s water: its temperature, pH, electrical conductivity, oxidation-reduction potential and dissolved oxygen levels. A Smart Metering sensor in the water tank measures the volume of water in storage.

Cameron’s Nursery is using Internet of Things technology to improve error detection and crop yields.

In the greenhouse, one Ambient Control sensor detects the amount of admitted light. Three Smart Agriculture monitors are installed as well. Two are located outside: the first measures rainfall and wind direction, intensity and speed, and the second determines outdoor soil temperature and moisture. A third unit is located inside the greenhouse to measure internal conditions.

The sensor nodes are linked via a meshed Wi-Fi network using WPA2 authentication. Using HTTP, the nodes connect with an onsite gateway that securely connects using TLS1.2 with Agnov8’s cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. Data is sent to the cloud at intervals of five to 15 minutes, allowing nursery staff to access the measured data in near-real time. The SaaS platform is hosted on Amazon Web Services.

The nursery staff—either on or off site—can access the sensor via a cloud-based dashboard solution, by means of a cell phone, a tablet or a computer, allowing workers to know the exact details of what is occurring on the five-acre farm. The raw data can be downloaded as well.

Libelium’s Smart Agriculture sensor

Libelium says that its technology helps to reduce human error by providing personnel with regular, accurate data and by enabling them to intervene earlier when problems arise. This, in turn, leads to improved crop yields. According to Libelium, Sonja Cameron, the director of Cameron’s Nursery, reports that the Agnov8-Libelium solution is providing her company with real-time insight regarding water and greenhouse monitoring. This has empowered its staff to react to specific events, thereby ensuring crop health and reducing losses.

“Cameron’s Nursery has committed to two additional units to measure water quality parameters at other stages of their sustainable water-management system,” says Luuk Honings, Agnov8’s CTO.