Powered by Sigfox’s IoT network, new technology gives farmers a flexible, affordable way to fight back against rural crime.

If it’s not fuel, it’s copper wire. If it’s not copper wire, it’s tractors or livestock. These days, it seems like rural thieves change their targets faster than the seasons.

Rural crime is a growing problem. In some areas, up to 74% of farmers have experienced theft, trespassing or vandalism on their property. But as any farmer who has dealt with rural crime knows, staying one step ahead of thieves is no small task. As commodities prices fluctuate, so do the items thieves choose to steal. The next generation of wireless alarms provides farmers with a security option that is agile enough to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of rural crime.


Imagine this scenario: For a small family dairy farm, margins are slim. It’s hard enough to find the money for vet bills and equipment repairs, let alone the money to secure all of the many valuable assets on the farm. So when one local dairy farm decides to improve security measures, they have to make some difficult choices. Install a wireless security system on the barn, but forgo a system on the equipment shed. Purchase lights and cameras near the fuel tanks, but leave the chemical tanks in the dark.

At first, the farm manager is sure about the security choices he’s made. He did his homework and he’s educated about what thieves in the area target most. But six months later, this all changes.

During the summer, a group of local thieves seems to realize for the first time that irrigation systems are a great source of copper wire. The farm manager begins to read about this in the news, and he knows he must take action.

After all, the cost to repair a damaged irrigation system can easily cost $10,000 or more. But although the farm certainly can’t bear a cost like this, it also doesn’t have the budget to invest in new security measures. Sure, they could move the cameras from the fuel tanks to the irrigation lines, but will this really solve the problem? Won’t thieves move on to a new target soon anyway? How is a small farm supposed to stay ahead of the game without breaking the bank?


One day, a sales rep for a security company visits the feed store at the same time as the dairy farm manager. Through the rep, he learns about next-generation wireless alarms. This new type of alarm doesn’t rely on WiFi like traditional wireless alarms. Instead, each unit connects to Sigfox’s network dedicated to the Internet of Things (IoT). The secure, global network was built specifically for this type of application and other smart devices.

Because a next-generation wireless alarm doesn’t depend on WiFi, it is simple to install and affordable to rent. It is “plug and play” meaning one or more units can be placed anywhere on the farm, and they can even be moved around as security needs change.

The farm manager can set up an alarm unit himself in about five minutes, with no added installation costs. The technology doesn’t interfere with existing wireless security systems, so he doesn’t have to worry about the system that is already installed on the barn.

  • Cost to install three next-gen wireless alarms along an irrigation system: $45/mo
  • Cost to repair a system that thieves stripped for copper: $10,000 or more

And the best part? Each alarm unit costs just 15 USD per month to rent, with no long-term contract required. The farm manager decides to place three units at key points along the irrigation lines. This will cost the farm just 45 dollars per month, or 540 dollars per year. Even on a tight budget, this expense is manageable, especially considering what’s at stake.

So now, for a small monthly cost, this family dairy farm can again feel confident about their security measures. And when stealing the copper wiring falls out of favor, as it inevitably will, the farm will already be one step ahead.