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Water-Smart Agriculture: Precision Irrigation Strategies

By David Armaah

The demand for sustainable agricultural practices has never been more pressing in the face of climate change and growing global populations. One of the key areas of focus in this demand is water-smart agriculture, which aims to optimise water usage while maximising crop yield. At the heart of it lies precision irrigation strategies, which leverage technology and data analytics to deliver water precisely where and when it is needed. In this article, we will delve into some innovative approaches and explore some examples of companies leading the charge in this field.

Key Strategies Employed in Precision Irrigation:
  1. Drip Irrigation: Drip irrigation delivers water directly to the root zone of plants, minimising evaporation and runoff. This method provides precise control over water distribution, leading to significant water savings.
  2. Smart Sensors and Monitoring: Utilising IoT (Internet of Things) technology, smart sensors monitor soil moisture levels, weather conditions, and crop health in real time. This data enables farmers to make informed decisions about irrigation scheduling and water allocation.
  3. Remote Control & Management: Remote control platforms enable farmers to manage irrigation systems from anywhere, using smartphones or computers. These platforms allow for real-time adjustments to irrigation schedules and settings, optimising water usage while minimising labour requirements.

Shining the Spotlight on Startups/Companies implementing precision irrigation strategies

Netafim: As a pioneer in drip irrigation technology, Netafim has been at the forefront of precision irrigation for over 50 years. Their precision irrigation solutions, coupled with advanced monitoring and control systems, enable farmers worldwide to achieve higher yields with less water, contributing to sustainable agriculture and water conservation efforts globally.

CropX Technologies: This Israeli startup offers a soil sensing and analytics platform that provides farmers with real-time data on soil moisture, temperature, and nutrient levels. By leveraging this information, farmers can optimise irrigation schedules and improve crop yields while conserving water resources.

Arable Labs: Arable’s intuitive IoT-based sensor solution combines reliable in-field weather, forecast, plant, soil, and irrigation data with advanced modelling and machine learning to deliver real-time, actionable insights into the entire crop system. Arable helps customers around the globe optimise water use.

Lindsay Corporation: Lindsay Corporation offers a remote irrigation management and scheduling technology whereby users can control their irrigation system from anywhere. It helps farmers spend less time and money in the field by gaining greater control and visibility out of it. Plus, their product can provide daily recommendations to help meet the field’s changing needs.

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