Orchard and On-Farm Connectivity

Every orchard manager and worker can relate to the frustration of unreliable or patchy coverage, particularly when you are out in the orchard trying to perform a simple connectivity task such as a phone call, through to more data intensive tasks, such as precision agriculture.  

Orchards present a distinct set of challenges when it comes to connectivity. The dense tree canopy, especially during the full leaf season, causes signals to bounce and fail to penetrate mid-row areas. This creates obstacles for effective communication, impacting the efficiency of operational processes. 

Why Connectivity is Crucial for Orchards and what it enables

The vast majority of digital technologies available for orchards require reliable connectivity to regularly upload and download data. Without connectivity, many either do not work or cannot function to the optimal performance levels required. Connectivity enables the collection and integration of data from various sources (soil moisture probes, weather stations, real-time data) across your orchard. Additionally, the performance of your precision technology, such as spraying, can be enhanced.  

A connected team improves lone worker safety and wellbeing.  

In the age of automation, orchards are witnessing a surge in autonomous technologies like robotic sprayers, mowers, and weeders. These innovations rely heavily on connectivity for obstacle detection using LIDAR technology. Without proper connectivity, these machines can come to a standstill, requiring manual intervention and hindering the productivity of a single operator overseeing multiple machines. 

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Advantages of Connectivity in Orchards

  • The ability to make phones calls out in the orchard anywhere, anytime.   
  • Enhanced precision in spraying and harvesting. 
  • Real-time awareness of operations across the entire orchard, reducing input costs and boosting the bottom line. 
  • Instant communication for staff to promptly address breakdowns, punctures, fires, irrigation leaks, etc. 
  • Efficiency in autonomous tractors and implements. 
  • Improved staff and lone worker safety. 
  • Connected irrigation for improved remote monitoring.  
  • Significant cost savings, increased productivity gains, and improved efficiencies. 

Additionally, reliable connectivity ensures seamless communication between operators and robotic systems. This streamlined interaction allows autonomous machines to operate optimally, responding promptly to obstacles without unnecessary downtime. With robust connectivity, a single operator, often referred to as a "robot captain," can effectively manage a fleet of 5 to 15 machines, maximising operational efficiency. 

Solutions to Explore for Your Orchard Operation

Explore our range of connectivity solutions tailored for Orchards. 

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Connectivity Assessment for Your Orchard 

Visit our dedicated page to assess your current connectivity levels on your orchard. Understand existing connectivity obstacles in your orchard and explore solutions that align with the unique demands of your operation. 
Assess my farm’s connectivity