Agriculture and Farming
Increased productivity, safety and security in farming operations
From modest smallholdings to mega-farms covering millions of acres, the agricultural industry feeds the world - and with the population projected to exceed 9.7 billion people by 2050, its importance will only continue to grow.
Agriculture is the single largest employer globally, with 40% of the global population working in the industry. While the trend to consolidation in larger farms continues, the 500 million small, family farms worldwide still provide up to 80 percent of food consumed.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, food production will need to increase by 70 percent on 2007 levels to feed the larger population. The additional challenge is to achieve that growth without a proportionate increase in greenhouse gas emissions.
With the adoption of technology, automation and more stringent health and safety practices, farming has become more productive and safer. Still, it remains at its heart one of the most dangerous occupations undertaken by dedicated people, carrying out physically demanding work over long hours and in all weather conditions.
A rewarding but hazardous working environment
Farming presents risks to workers that can threaten their lives. Heavy machinery, exposure to chemicals, slippery and uneven ground, extreme weather, and the unpredictability of animals are just some of the hazards that come with the job.
Most common risks
Most injuries on farms occur while workers lift, push or pull, and adjust or repair machinery. Injuries sustained while operating or attributed to the use of tractors, for example, account for some 300 fatalities each year, so with the drive for greater productivity and greater mechanisation, farm managers are looking for solutions that will support more vigorous safety procedures for workers.
- Accidents caused by tractor operations
- Being struck by a moving or falling object
RADIOCOMMUNICATION SUPPORTING SAFETY FOR FARMWORKERS
One of the critical areas in which radiocommunication can support increased productivity and worker safety is providing the instant communication needed to ensure workers and machinery are in the right place at the right time and that in the event of an accident, help is close to hand.
Despite the ubiquity of smartphones and the use of tablets in farming, two-way radiocommunication remains the optimum communication tool of first and last resort that continues to work even in the event of cellular or ISP network service outages.
Which radiocommunication technology is best for your farm?
With farms having to be run with the efficiency more commonly found in streamlined manufacturing industries, data collection plays an increasingly important role in farm management and greater dependency on automation and technology.
The average farm in the EU covers some 16 hectares; however, over 60% are under 5 hectares. So when it comes to radio communications, it’s essential to consider a system that suits the size of your farm operation, the number of users, the topography of the area to be covered and the intended use today and in the future.
Buy cheap, buy twice (or more)
As with virtually any electronic device, there are always cheaper alternatives to tested and proven professional equipment.
With margins tight in farming, it’s tempting to cut corners and shave costs. For example, you can buy a multi-pack of consumer PMR446 walkie-talkies from a supermarket, catalogue store or even toy shop for little more than the price of a sack of feed. While they might work, they are not designed to survive the rough and tumble of farming activities, usage in all weather conditions (and with gloved hands) or last a long day’s work without needing to be charged or replacing the batteries.
A license-free or licensed two-way radio is a critical piece of equipment, giving farm management the ability to coordinate operations being carried out by workers often working alone and out of sight, reliably and clearly at the push of a button to optimise efficiency and safety. Especially important when circumstances change or in the event of an incident requiring assistance, so it pays to invest in the right kit for the job.
Typical applications include:
- Safety of lone workers
- Supervision of seasonal workers
Instant communication between individuals and groups in voice and data across large areas.
The use of KENWOOD two-way radio communication to coordinate workflow and safety in the agricultural sector is widespread, providing the ability to deliver clear voice and data transmissions to workers located within a single site or across widely spread spaces to prioritise work. Also, to respond to situations, manage emergency procedures, maximise the efficient use of resources, and improve safety, security, and productivity.
Solutions range from the simplicity of license-free digital dPMR446 walkie-talkies to highly flexible, voice and data-enabled digital conventional, IP networked and trunked DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN communications systems. The utility of which can be significantly extended with the addition of applications and software suites to include dispatch and location capabilities, automated and event-triggered audio and text alerts and real-time asset tracking and monitoring.
ProTalk License-Free PMR446 – simple and effective
The simplicity and convenience of analogue and digital license-free PMR446 technology have made it a popular choice in farming operations. Its reliability, ruggedness and ease of use have provided instant communication between individuals and groups at the push of a button.
KENWOOD ProTalk professional PMR446 is particularly suited for use within farm buildings and across open spaces on smaller farms or where channels are allocated to specific teams; it offers:
- Compact hand-portable format
- 7-colour LED indicator illuminates to notify multi-status functions including, power-on and different unit identification (dPMR446 models)
Digital dPMR446 is quickly becoming the most popular format with professional users. It offers better reception to the full extent of the coverage area, with 32 digital channels and 16 analogue channels. Durability, long battery life between charges and simplicity of operation in all conditions are some of the key attributes of the current generation of KENWOOD ProTalk dPMR446 radios, along with many more advanced features only previously found in licensed radios.
KENWOOD licensed digital radio – the flexibility to meet the demands of more extensive and multiple sites
For larger single sites or communications to teams across multiple locations, a licensed KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN digital technologies bring even more significant benefits, including:
- Multi-protocol DMR/NXDN + FM Analogue options
- Optional and built-in GPS
KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN digital protocols both offer the capability to build flexible and scalable systems. In contrast, the native analogue/digital Mixed Operation (enabling radios to communicate automatically with existing licensed analogue radios) provides a predictable, economical migration path to complete digital two-way radio implementation at an affordable cost and the basis to build a future-proof radio communications system.
A KENWOOD DMR or NEXEDGE NXDN system equipped with GPS devices can not only provide multiple communications channels and talk groups but also, with the addition of the optional KAS-10/20 software or Trackuracy ‘asset’ tracking suites, allow you to monitor and track every radio so you always know where staff or assets are and can pinpoint and alert workers best able to respond quickly to situations.
Advanced Worker Protection
Farmworkers, including seasonal staff, can have their radios programmed and monitored so that they will be called automatically at predetermined times to check on their status. Should there be no response, an alarm will be raised. Similarly, a programmable function key on the radio can be assigned to trigger an emergency alert which is transmitted immediately to all other radio users.
In addition to the efficiency that radio communication brings to coordinating activities and improving productivity. It also serves to help you comply with health and safety and security requirements/regulations, for example, alerting workers to the presence of threats, calling for medical assistance, reporting accidents, suspicious activities, and intruders.
However, radio communication excels in the event of a significant incident, whether that be a medical emergency, a worker at risk or a more serious event that requires staff everywhere on-site to be alerted instantly and to initiate appropriate emergency procedures.
To provide reassurance to your workforce, all KENWOOD NEXEDGE NXDN and DMR models feature Emergency Key and Emergency Call features as standard. In contrast, more advanced models additionally offer built-in or optional GPS modules, Lone Worker and Emergency Advanced Motion Detection Function, which make them ideal for incorporating within a robust health and safety policy. Once programmed and activated, these advanced safety features can include:
The Priority Call feature ensures the availability of a radio channel in the event of an emergency and allows a control centre to interrupt all existing calls on a channel.
An alarm is triggered along with the sender's user ID when the Emergency Key button is pressed. GPS-equipped radios can also send the user's location (GPS coordinates).
An alarm is triggered along with the sender's user ID if a user does not respond to a status prompt within a specified time.
An alarm is triggered along with the sender's user ID if the radio is tilted beyond a pre-determined angle, indicating that the user may have fallen or become incapacitated. Other programmable features include:
NEXEDGE NXDN and DMR radios equipped with GPS can additionally be programmed to send location information to the farm office using software such as KAS-10 or KAS-20 AVL and Dispatch suites so that the user at risk can be located quickly and response times reduced.
|Asset Tracking and Monitoring:||
With Trackuracy, KENWOOD DMR and NEXEDGE NXDN systems can be equipped with low-energy, real-time asset monitoring and tracking across single and multiple sites, indoors and out. Alerts, alarms delivered as audible tones, voice or data messages can be programmed to trigger automatically should the user stray off course or enter restricted areas.
Remote Monitor allows the farm office staff to listen in to a radio through its microphone in situations where an alarm is activated, and the radio user cannot respond. This provides the Farm Manager with the intelligence to assess a situation in real-time and to quickly initiate an appropriate response.
EXCEPTIONAL AUDIO QUALITY EVEN IN NOISY ENVIRONMENTS
KENWOOD radiocommunication devices benefit from JVCKENWOOD Group’s 60-years of experience in producing consumer audio and visual equipment (Trio, JVC and KENWOOD), renowned for exceptional sound quality
This transfer of knowledge and experience has led to the development of many novel and innovative solutions that overcome the problem of cancelling ambient noise while improving the audio clarity of the transmitted voice in any operating environment.
|Ultimate noise cancellation:||
NX-5000 Series hand-portable radios achieve optimum noise cancellation using two integrated microphones. The primary microphone is situated closer to the desired source (front of the radio), while a second microphone in the radio's rear receives the ambient noise. In a noisy environment, both microphones receive noise at a similar level; however, the primary microphone receives the user's voice more strongly. The processor in the radio subtracts one noise source from the other so that most of the ambient noise is cancelled, which effectively enhances the quality of the transmitted audio of the user's voice.
|Active Noise Reduction:||
Both NX-5000 and NX-3000 Series radios feature Active Noise Reduction (ANR). ANR serves to cancel the noise component of the collected audio to improve the transmitted audio quality. Noise cancellation functions can be 'Custom' configured to adjust the vocoder, DSP, filters, specific noises etc. to suit the operating environment.
|Selectable Audio profiles:||
The received audio will sound different depending on the usage environment of the radio, characteristics of the device (such as the microphone to be combined with the radio and external devices), and the tone of voice and manner of speaking of the speaker. The received audio will also sound different depending on the output method, such as using the radio speaker or earphone to hear the received audio. KENWOOD radios feature six customisable audio profiles which can be configured for specific scenarios and selected by the user to suit the operating environment.
BUILT TOUGH TO WITHSTAND RAIN, DIRT AND THE ROUGH AND TUMBLE OF DAILY USE
Farmworkers and their radios work side by side in all conditions, so it’s good to know that all Kenwood professional hand portable walkie talkies and mobile radios conform to MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G for ruggedness and durability and are IP54/55/67 Water & Dust Intrusion rated, making them suited for use in the farming environment. In addition, KENWOOD can offer ATEX IECEx devices for use in hazardous, explosive atmospheres.
EXPLORE KENWOOD SOLUTIONS FOR FARMING, HORTICULTURE, ANIMAL HUSBANDRY AND FORESTRY
KENWOOD equipment is used in the management of farming activities around the world. For example, the €300 million project by Al Dahra and the Serbian government to jointly develop 9,000 hectares of farmland to produce a range of crops, meat and dairy produce and the Public Access Mobile Radio (PAMR) network in Cape Town that numbers many farmers within its subscriber base. Read more about other users in sectors with operating characteristics similar to those in agriculture, including Forestry, Vineyards, Wildlife Parks and Construction.
To discover more about the millions of KENWOOD devices in use by countless customers in hundreds of applications around the world, including the innovative, multi-protocol NX-5000 Series (NXDN, DMR, P25 and FM Analogue), NX-3000 Series (NXDN, DMR and FM Analogue) and exceptional value offered by the entry-level NX-1000 Series hand portable walkie talkies and mobiles, please click on the banners below.
For more information on KENWOOD digital system solutions, including DMR Tier 3 trunking and Simulcast, NXDN Type-C, Type-D, and Gen2 trunking, click here.
If you’d like to learn more about our TRACKURACY, our real-time Bluetooth Low Energy asset tracking and monitoring solution, click here.
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