Securing the Farm

/ Farm Security Monitor

Stop! Thief.

The remote location of farms is ideal for light fingered thieves. From sheep to heating oil, everything is up for grabs. With the arrival of low cost and reliable sensor equipment, we designed a monitoring and alerting system to reduce losses for farmers.  We’re the eyes in the back of their heads.

The Challenge

The cost of theft from farms continues to increase.  The farmer cannot be in all places on the farm, 24 hours a day.  According to rural insurer NFU Mutual, farm animals worth £3m were stolen from UK farms in 2019.

Additional items such as quad bikes, machinery, heating oil and timber are regularly stolen by professional and well organised gangs.

We considered what could be monitored electronically and set about building a complete system around low cost, reliable sensors, connected wirelessly, with a battery life of years .

The Solution

As with all designs, there are compromises. Sensors able to transmit their information via the mobile phone network are plentiful but battery life can be a matter of days, not years.  We also needed long range but with good battery life.

Using a technology called LoraWAN (a long range radio system) we were able to use low power sensors with a 10 mile range with their sensor information being received by a single ‘gateway’ on the farm, which in turn was connected to the Internet.

We selected suitable sensors for gates, doors and movement and tested them locally.

For the farmer, we designed and build a couple of ‘information displays’ which confirmed if say a gate was open (Gate Watch) and also a unit with status lights and a textual display to show more detailed information.

The whole system was then completed with a robust control centre on the Internet to process all incoming data and generate alerts, warnings and status information to the farmer.

Gate Watch Prototype

Real-world testing

The developments units were tested on-site with a measured sensor range of 5 miles for all sensor types.

This real-world testing proved the reliability of the system and the units are now ready to move into production.

The Outcome

The system can monitor unexpected gate openings and reduce theft attempts of fuel, tools and other stock.

Importantly, the system can immediate detect unauthorised movement of expensive equipment such as tractors, vehicles and quad bikes, especially at night, raising an alert directly to the farmer as a text or alarm on the display units.

Considerable insurance savings

Following talks with insurance companies, this remote monitoring and alerting technology is set to save farmers thousands of pounds each year and make their farms very unattractive to thieves. 

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you want to find out more.

Talk to us

If you have a project you’d like to discuss, or think we can be of service, why not get in touch with us for an informal chat?

We don’t do hard sell, there’s no obligation and no pressure.