A Water Rat that sends an alert when water levels get too low has taken out the top prize in the inaugural South-west Victorian Dairy Innovation Challenge.
The Water Rat trough and tank sensor, entered by Nick Seymour of Farmo Group Pty Ltd was the overall winner of the South-west Victorian Dairy Innovation Challenge, and also took out the local sustainability-environmental award.
The entry eclipsed 18 other entries in the Challenge, an initiative of the DemoDAIRY Foundation (DDF) in partnership with Great South Coast Food and Fibre and Elders.
Judges said the simplicity of the Water Rat addressed a real issue for farmers that has significant consequences.
Water Rats send an alert when water levels get too low
“The Water Rat was designed primarily as an alert to let farmers know when there is a problem with the water supply to their cows,” Mr Seymour said. “But we’ve had people report that the historical data has revealed some troughs were going empty for a couple of hours every day, and that they never picked this up during a morning water run. They can then use that information to reduce the herd size, or increase the pipe size, and make sure the cattle have sufficient water supply.”
The Water Rat includes an accelerometer tilt sensor to detect movement, an NB-IoT chip to send data, and GPS to report location. The Water Rat is designed to be picked up and moved so you don’t need one for every trough on the property, just those in use.
We thank our sponsors, Great South Coast Food and Fibre, Elders and South West TAFE for their support.