Smart irrigation for better water management
Irrigation affects crop quantity and quality. It has a direct impact on profits. Smart irrigation enables farmers to match the water supply to perennial crops’ demand.
Water is the lifeblood of plants. It is also a precious resource to be used wisely by the agricultural industry. Measuring the water balance of the plant is the best way of determining when and how much to irrigate. As it stands, farmers have to go out into orchards to take measurements by hand. Growers that find this to be too inconvenient and inefficient can look to environmental and meteorological data.
Bosch has a better answer – smart irrigation. Sensors installed on the plants measure the amount of water in leaves in real time. Wireless transmitters send these readings to a gateway, which forwards it to a cloud. AI-driven software factors other information into the equation such as the weather forecast and the phenological state of the crop. It provides farmers with a weekly irrigation recommendation that takes all the variables into account, including the particulars of the plantation, the type of crop, and the farm’s water supply. An app displays this information, the temperature, and humidity for users to consult.
Benefits at a glance
- Real time information on the water content of crops
- Weekly irrigation recommendations
- Hydration level readings combined with other data help to make better decisions on water management
No more wasted water, no more squandered money
Irrigation is guesswork when plants’ hydration levels are unknown. Growers tend to err on the side of caution, overwatering their crops. That kind of inefficient water management is bad for both the farm’s bottom line and the environment.
Current irrigation practices are inefficient at less than 40%. That has to improve for agriculture to become more sustainable. Bosch leaf and soil sensors can help bring those numbers up by monitoring water levels in perennial crops in real time.
Better irrigation for precious crops that grow on trees
Smart irrigation conserves water, but the benefits do not stop there. It also increases the yields of precious woody crops such as olives.
Featuring an algorithm developed by the Bosch Center for Artificial Intelligence, Smart irrigation detects three water levels – good, normal, and stressed. A deficit irrigation strategy serves to optimize water management, dialing the irrigation down when plants can thrive on less water. If the crop is improperly hydrated, the app alerts the grower, who can then make adjustments before any damage is done.
This software combines hydration level readings with other data in the cloud to issue a weekly irrigation recommendation that factors takes the farm’s water supply for the season into the calculation. Growers can also access information on soil moisture to monitor both the plant and the soil’s water needs.
Better irrigation means better water management. And that adds up to big savings for farmers.