Farmbots make life easier for Zane

Zach RelphCountryman
Wallareenya pastoralist Zane Day.
Camera IconWallareenya pastoralist Zane Day. Credit: James Purtill

Water is a vital commodity for Zane Day’s cattle enterprise at Wallareenya Station.

Managing and sustaining water points across the 202,350ha lease had long proved time-consuming for the pastoralist who works hard to quench the thirst of his 4000-strong Brahman-cross herd.

However, Mr Day admits he is now “resting easier” knowing he can monitor water levels at the landholding, about 50km south of Port Hedland, remotely with the touch of a button.

Mr Day, who runs the cattle operation with wife Carolyn, has installed six water-management Farmbot units at Wallareenya to reduce hours spent travelling to its various troughs for inspections.

It provides near real-time water-level information to detect leaks and faults at water supply points through satellite and cellular transmission.

For Mr Day, the technology has slashed labour and fuel costs spent on employing people to embark on two-day long water checks.

“I’m pretty time-poor,” he said.

“Given we’ve had the big dry this year, the Farmbots have saved us not only money but also wear-and-tear on the vehicles and labour. It has given peace of mind that the cows are getting a drink everyday.”

Mr Day has been using Farmbots for more than 12 months, after first implementing Gallagher Australia’s water-monitoring system. He said the technology saved him up to $800 for every two-day water-check journey, which were done weekly during dry periods, and attributed it to the station avoiding a potential water disaster last December.

“It saved us,” Mr Day said.

“One midnight a float valve on a trough didn’t shut off and by 6am there was only 5 per cent water capacity left in the tank from 20,000 litres.

“The bore man got the notification, hopped in the car and drove straight out there and fixed the issue

“The Farmbot allows for quick reaction whenever there is a trough issue.”

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