Smart Farm Security

15 Oct 2019

Smart farms are here right now and farming businesses of all sizes have access thanks to AQM’s Partnership with Active Farm Solutions (AFS) provide security and monitoring systems for farms by harnessing the latest IoT (Internet of Things) equipment and sensors.

With daylight hours drawing to a close earlier at this time of year levels of theft crime are known to increase. Organised gangs target farms for machinery to use as tools in further crimes such as ripping out ATM machines, and also steal to order with many items ending up abroad.

Activists are also a major concern on game and livestock farms with events such as that in April this year at Heath Hatcheries in Mildenhall where members of the Animal Liberation Front (ALF) released 9000 birds.

Farms are under threat and some are not just places of business but are also the family home. Active Farm Solutions are keen to assist the farming community in reducing crime whilst providing peace of mind so as to ease sleep for all of the family. If criminals realise that the farming community are working together and are part of a smart network they may not see farms as the easy target.

“We are moving to a smart farm approach – from perimeter protection, to tracking quad bikes, monitoring animal data, and building humidity sensors”

Active Farm Solutions offer the opportunity of a visit to discuss any security issues and to provide an action plan with various equipment options. A ‘Smart Hub’ is installed with all sensors talking to this within a range of around 5km.

Products are mostly battery powered with a life range of between three and five years providing a cost effective and portable tagging and monitoring solution. This is especially important for rural locations with no mains power.

Amanda Cornwell from Agriculture Insurance Brokers works closely with AFS and sings of the benefits of the technology for reducing risks for her clients “AFS listen to each of my client’s needs and are able to come up with individual solutions for them. A Suffolk client of mine had a break in last week and I am suggesting that they speak with AFS to look at a system to monitor their perimeter. They have a metal security gate fitted but the thieves simply drove across fields and through a hedge to get to his workshop.”

Light beam sensors can be fitted across any areas where a physical barrier does not exist or in vulnerable areas on a farm such as around intensive livestock units where there is a threat from groups such as the ALF. Farmers can use the software provided to set specific parameters for each of their sensors. In the case of a light beam sensor across a field entrance an alert could be set between 8pm and 7am when farm staff will not be using it. Farmers will receive alerts by text message to their phone and emails only if the beam is broken during those hours.

Tags can be fitted to machinery and alerts sent to the farmer when the machinery goes outside of the area set. The Farmer alerted to the fact the machinery has moved or been stolen can contact the police and AFS will then monitor and track the machine with the aim of recovery. The tags use RF technology as opposed to GPS or GSM which can be blocked and also means assets can still be tracked up to ten shipping containers deep if moved to a port or a cargo ship. Active Farm Solutions charge only £60 per year for the recovery service irrespective of the number of devices on a farm.

Farmers can become part of the AFS network allowing their hubs to communicate and pick up other farmers assets if they are stolen and being moved close to their property becoming part of a smart network of businesses across the country.

Farms are targets for fuel thieves too and AFS have come up with the solution of a fuel tank monitor providing an alert when the fuel drops below a set level. Besides alerting the farmer to theft it would also alert to a leak and could be used as a fuel ordering management tool.

AQM has teamed up with Smart Farm Security
How Rural Crime affects you

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