Farming Connect is one of four new schemes within the Welsh Government Rural Communities - Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which is focusing significant investment from Welsh Government and the EU to revitalise rural communities and provide support for agriculture and forestry in Wales.
As part of the project, Mockingbird Consulting along with two partner firms won a tender to configure and install LoRaWAN Gateways for 18 sites across Wales.
Given our location in Monmouth, it was agreed that Mockingbird Consulting would focus on the 9 farms in the south of the country, with the partner firms installing the 9 gateways in the north.
The task was initially simple - configure the gateways once they had arrived, along with some sensors for each farm, and install them on site - however as the threat of COVID-19 loomed large, it became apparent that we were not going to be able to complete the work in the original time frame.
During lockdown, our team of engineers ensured that all of the gateways were configured and that the sensors were fully tested, and prepared everything to be shipped to site. One of our partners in the project had undertaken site surveys before lockdown had started, and therefore we were able to provide our installation team with all the information they needed to position and commission the gateways. One of the gateways was delivered directly to a farm to be installed by someone else on site, leaving us with 8 gateways to deploy.
As soon as Lockdown started to lift our installation team hit the road, installing all 8 gateways in the space of three weeks across an area that covered from Usk in Monmouthshire to Carmarthenshire in West Wales. Working closely with our engineering team back in the office, care was taken to ensure that the gateways were connected and sending data from the sensors unless an issue on site prevented us from doing so.
We were delighted to be a part of this project, and we look forward to seeing how farms in Wales make use of the technology we trust every day for our other customers.