Cork farm pilots cloud-based app and IoT tools to increase efficiency

25 Feb 2022

Image: © 5Gr/Stock.adobe.com

Cork farmer Sean O’Sullivan said the new technology has already made a ‘significant difference’ to the running of his farm.

Vodafone has teamed up with food co-op company Dairygold on an agritech project that aims to fast-track the digitalisation of Irish farming using cloud-based tools and internet of things (IoT) devices.

The project has kicked off in Co Cork at local farmer Sean O’Sullivan’s dairy farm. The project team installed a cloud-based platform called MyFarmWeb at his 280-hectare farm near Douglas in Cork. His land was one of five farms across Europe chosen to host the pilot project. The other four farms are in Germany, Italy and Spain.

Future Human

The app uses IoT sensors to provide farmers like O’Sullivan with real-time data in the field to help them save time and costs and become more efficient and sustainable.

The MyFarmWeb platform also collects data to support decision-making for better soil and crop health, effective water use and precision fertiliser and pesticide application. It is currently being used by around 6,500 farmers worldwide.

As part of the installation, an IoT microclimate weather station was set up on O’Sullivan’s farm to help him determine the correct time to spray and fertilise his fields. The tool has enabled the farmer to save time and increase the quality of his grass production, which benefits both the yield and his cattle.

The industry stakeholders involved in the project hope it will provide sustainability-focused and data-driven decision-making for farms across the country.

Sinead Bryan, managing director of Vodafone Business, said that she believed the app would help “transform farming in Ireland”.

O’Sullivan agreed, saying that while he had not previously been a big user of technology, he was “always looking for new ways to save time and do things more efficiently.”

He said the technology had already made a “significant difference” to the running of his farm, and he looked forward to seeing how the technology could be used beyond the pilot phase at his farm.

“The data that MyFarmWeb provides has the potential to completely transform how we work here at Elm Hill farm. Not only has MyFarmWeb helped to make running the farm more economical, but we have also seen increases in our productivity.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com