Mike Renouard, Technical Director at the Jersey Royal Company, shares their experience of working with Digital Jersey:
There were two key components to the project, focused on accessing JT’s LoRa network to modernise weather data recording, and the creation of a bespoke platform for tracking vehicles. Digital Jersey worked closely with us, and our stakeholders, to deliver this complicated project which frees up more time for us to focus on ensuring consumers enjoy their world-famous potatoes.
The Jersey Royal Company (JRC) has used four infield weather stations to record weather data across the Island as part of its disease forecasting for over 15 years. The weather data is recorded every 15 minutes and together with weather forecasts, crop growth records and spray programmes are sent to a disease forecast model run by Dacom in Holland. The model predicts the next potato blight disease period and risk level and then advises the grower when the next spray should be applied and what products should be used. The model means that sprays are only applied when necessary and the most benign products are used which not only reduces costs but is also environmentally beneficial.
Dacom Disease Model – Phytophra Infestans (Late Potato Blight)
Up until recently the weather station have used old radio wave technology to transmit back to a central receiver in our office where the data is collected before sending over to Holland. This technology has become increasingly unreliable as the signals are often interrupted and the furthest away stations have to be relayed through others. Large amounts of data are therefore often lost impacting on the disease model.
With support from Digital Jersey, we worked with Agrii, a leading provider of agronomy services, technology and strategic advice in the UK, together with telecoms provider JT to upgrade the stations and relay the data over JT’s LoRa network. The new network is ideal for sending frequent packages of small data.
The Jersey Royal Company weather data
Meanwhile, the Jersey Royal Company operates nearly 200 vehicles across the Island made up of tractor units, minibuses, vans and 4x4s. The IT department has begun an IoT project to build its own platform for vehicle tracking to monitor these vehicles. We are in discussions with Airtel-Vodafone as partners in the project to supply the connectivity through either their 4G network or through their proposed NB-IoT network.
The platform will monitor vehicle movements, fuel usage and driver behaviour making the fleet more efficient and safer. Vehicle service histories, fuel efficiency and fleet running costs can help make the company more efficient providing not only a monetary saving but also environmental benefits.
The Jersey Royal Company vehicle tracking map
Mike Renouard, Technical Director at the JRC, says: “The guidance from Digital Jersey to open doors to the right people at the right time, and their support in ensuring both our weather monitoring and vehicle tracking projects remained focused, was invaluable.”
Tony Moretta, CEO of Digital Jersey, said: “The Jersey Royal Company is a heritage island business, but also a global company that’s placing technology at the heart of its operation. This is an excellent example of multi-stakeholder working, and demonstrates the broad range of possibilities our world-class infrastructure offers businesses looking to innovate and find ways to boost efficiency, productivity, and in turn an even better customer experience.”