IoT Pest Monitors for Australian Orchards

By Hari Yellina
Photo by Skylar Jay on Unsplash

FMC Corporation, an agribusiness, and RapidAIM, a CSIRO-backed start-up, are preparing to use IoT sensors to monitor insect pests in Australian orchards. RapidAID’s digital surveillance system, which is linked to FMC analytics, will be deployed in orchards in Victoria’s Shepparton district. Although RapidAIM’s initial focus was on fruit flies, the present partnership intends to provide a reliable pest detection and forecasting service for a number of different pests. RapidAIM will use its patented smart sensors in a network of instrumented and wirelessly connected traps to detect insect pests in the orchard remotely and effectively in real time.

RapidAIM’s sensors can identify insect pests based on their behaviour, sending data to the cloud and eventually to farmers’ phones. RapidAIM will produce state-of-the-art regional pest projections for inclusion into FMC’s Arc farm intelligence tool by aggregating this real-time data and combining it with machine learning. On Sunday, New South Wales, Australia’s bloodiest day of the pandemic, 16 people died, despite the state relaxing restrictions to enable some vital workers in isolation to return to work if they are asymptomatic. In Australia’s most populated state, just over 30,000 new cases were detected, forcing those people to join more than 2,00,000 others in isolation.

There are no figures on how many of those are vital workers in the food and manufacturing industries. However, some businesses claim that up to half of their employees have been laid off as a result of coming into touch with a positive case. Because of the omicron outbreak’s influence on food processing and supply networks, numerous retailers have reported empty shelves. Critical workers in the food logistics and manufacturing sectors who have been furloughed as close contacts will be allowed to leave self-isolation and return to work if they have no symptoms of COVID-19, according to a statement released by New South Wales Health on Sunday.

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