Global Leaders Summit – AgTech Showcase

Metova attended and demonstrated technology at the Global Leaders Summit hosted by Heifer International ( last month. Heifer International Country Managers from 140 countries around the world gathered in Little Rock, Arkansas for the 3-day Summit and Technology Expo.

Heifer invited Metova and other innovative technology companies to attend the Summit. We set up booths to demonstrate capabilities and educate attendees on technology solutions that can be applied to agricultural problems faced around the world.

Summit highlights include the GSI/GTED2 “Financial Engineering Program” for technology deployment currently in development. Developed in conjunction with the Global Solutions Summit at the United Nations Headquarters on June 4th, 2018, the program revolutionizes financing for global technology deployment in less developed countries.

Metova had the opportunity to speak with directors from several different countries about our LoRa WAN agricultural work and brought along a LoRa WAN gateway with a communication range of 10 miles line of sight or 1 to 3 miles into buildings. LoRa WAN technologies enable long-range data collection not possible through WiFi or too cost prohibitive over LTE-M or NB-IOT and is well suited for agricultural applications.

Metova also showcased SensoTerra soil moisture probes, weather sensors, and custom Metova-designed hardware for a bolus in a cow’s stomach. Here are some of this technologies’ use cases:

Livestock bolus
A medical-grade bolus ingested by a cow or goat stays in the rumen of the animal where the internal temperature can be tracked and reported to identify if the animal has a disease before it shows any visual indicators. With this technology, a baseline temperature is recorded for each animal and, if the temperature fluctuates, it can send alerts, animal location and history to a veterinarian to treat the animal. This technology allows detection and treatment for a single animal instead of a herd – preventing a decrease in milk or meat yield. Metova designed the hardware and software to provide a 5-year battery life. For more background, check out this research on successful disease detection through LoRa WAN technology from The Journal of Korean Institute of Information Technology.

Soil moisture detectors

Moisture probes are available to measure soil at different depths for application near plant roots.  Using LoRa WAN technology, hourly moisture sensor readings can be automatically collected over a range of several kilometers from a single LoRa WAN gateway. Data from soil moisture probes can be used to turn on automated watering systems, alert farmers to out of tolerance conditions and historical data can guide decisions on planting and harvesting seasons to maximize yield.

Weather detectors
Simple and inexpensive LoRa WAN sensors can read multiple atmospheric inputs including temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and more. With the long-range LoRa WAN communication capabilities, sensors can be placed over a large land area and different elevations. These sensors can detect and record climate changes providing capabilities to create alerts as conditions worsen, provide historical models and show trends to guide planning land for agricultural use – and, with machine learning and AI, make local weather predictions based on historical data gathered at the locale.

Other summit technology highlights included clean water solutions and shipping containers with solar generation and battery storage. My favorite was a self-contained aquaponics farm in a shipping container from that can feed 150-200 people a day in a wide range of climates and seasons – complete with IoT sensors, solar and wind power.