Demonstrating the potential of 5G enabled precision agriculture in Tayside
James Hutton Ltd (JHL) seeks to integrate 5G Internet of Things (IoT) enabled precision farming systems on the Mylnefield Research Farm located at the James Hutton Institute (JHI) to demonstrate where significant improvements can be made in agricultural efficiency and sustainable resource use through a data focussed approach to real-world applications in the cereal, soft fruit and potato sectors. These crops represent major components of the agricultural economy in Tayside, with growers under increasing financial pressure due to rising production, labour, energy, logistical and input costs. In harnessing digital technologies, we seek to demonstrate the potential benefits of collecting detailed farm data, improved accuracy in field, sensor connectivity and re-activation of older equipment with retrofit technology, whilst also communicating the specific challenges and lessons learned when deploying 5G networks in an agricultural setting. Such knowledge would place Tayside at the forefront of the UK agriculture sector in rising to meet the challenge of food security, sustainability and Net Zero by 2045, and in adopting 5G capabilities into our food production systems in-line with new enabling technologies.
With limited practical examples of 5G integration on-farm, the project will provide ongoing use case demonstrations of 5G enabled IoT in Tayside. Use case demonstrations will consist of automated irrigation scheduling systems in fruit and potato production systems and examples of open-source derived precision farming telemetry and RTK GPS guided autosteer systems. As a testing platform validating the use of 5G for practical advantage, these practical use cases act to provide confidence to industry stakeholders that the technology, and its integration, provides operational efficiencies, is attainable and accessible to all budget sizes and operation scales.