picture: Researchers who designed the new instrument to control irrigation
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Credit history: University of Córdoba

H2o shortage is getting one of the most pressing and advanced difficulties in the world, but the digitization of the agricultural sector by way of the implementation of chopping-edge systems is producing it achievable to tackle this trouble via far more effective use of this resource.

If growers know the most effective time to irrigate, and the correct total of water their crops need each and every day, they can perform optimal irrigation, thereby not squandering water and creating far more exact and productive use of it. This possibility is by now a reality.

Researchers Carmen Flores, Rafael González, Pilar Montesinos and Emilio Camacho, with the María de Maeztu Unit of Excellence, inside of the Department of Agronomy at the UCO (DAUCO), have created an irrigation determination guidance technique for the best scheduling of seven days of irrigation via the use of Information and facts and Interaction Technologies (ICTs), based on local climate predictions and info from humidity sensors and irrigation meters mounted in the discipline, and data on the fields’ intrinsic properties. This instrument, developed for outdoor woody and greenhouse horticultural crops, allows one not only to routine their irrigation, but also to operate an assessment of irrigation carried out about the course of a crop calendar year, yielding a Water Footprint inventory of the crop in question. “With all this information and facts collected by the equipment, an inventory of the h2o made use of is carried out, which, with each other with the information on the crop’s drinking water requirements in the 12 months, would make feasible an evaluation of the adequacy of the irrigation used, which, in change, facilitates the detection of inefficiencies,” defined researcher Carmen Flores.

This model was tested at an orange plantation and on a greenhouse tomato crop, even though it was also adapted for olive groves and other greenhouse horticultural crops, these types of as eggplant, pepper and cucumber.

In the scenario of tomatoes, it was observed that the model’s irrigation advice and the irrigation essentially carried out in the greenhouse have been nearly the exact same, and have been rather in line with the crop’s genuine desires. Nevertheless, in the circumstance of the orange trees, the comparison in between their administration and the recommendations of the design created discovered that, with the exact same usage of irrigation water, differences in its administration (in conditions of the frequency and period of irrigation) impacted the use of drinking water in the soil. It was also shown that the work of managed deficit irrigation approaches can make it feasible to cut down the use of drinking water for irrigation by up to 20%.

“This procedure establishes the exceptional time to irrigate and the specific volume of drinking water that the crop requirements,” the researcher highlighted. In addition, many thanks to the ICTs and the information obtained in actual time by the monitoring products put in in the field, the design updates the irrigation scheduling facts daily, which differs acccording to the dampness material in the soil and weather and precipitation predictions.

Thanks to this know-how, it is probable to make optimal use of h2o, a important and scarce source, and to present buyers a lot more sustainable solutions.


Flores Cayuela, C., González Perea, R., Camacho Poyato, E. & Montesinos, P. (2022). An ICT-primarily based selection guidance system for precision irrigation management in outside orange and greenhouse tomato crops. Agricultural h2o administration, 269, 107686. doi: 10.1016/j.agwat.2022.107686

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