Improving infield water management - Simon Turner (Agri Tech Ltd)


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This presentation formed part of the Farming Futures workshop 'Irrigation in a changing climate: save water, save money, get fit for the future'.

17th November 2009

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Improving infield water management - Simon Turner (Agri Tech Ltd)

  1. 1. Agri-tech Services (UK) Ltd Irrigation Management Precision Farming Weather Stations
  2. 2. Agri-tech Services (UK) Ltd Improving infield Water Management
  3. 3. Which method of application? Overhead or Drip
  4. 4. Soil or soil-less?
  5. 5. Why schedule? •Applying irrigation water is an expensive pastime! •Incorrectly scheduled irrigation will adversely affect your crop •Poor irrigation practice can increase the risk of pest and disease pressures •Leaching of water and nutrients - a costly exercise •Waste of resource – labour, electricity / diesel, water, fertiliser
  6. 6. Why schedule? Increase yield Enhance quality Repeat results year after year Save costs – water / electricity, fertilisers, labour Environmental friendly Fast ROI
  7. 7. Which system? The boot! Balance sheet The periscope
  8. 8. Balance Sheet Weather station measuring ET
  9. 9. Which system? Periscope Neutron Probe Tensiometers Capacitance probes
  10. 10. Neutron Probe Service – Weekly report Crop use at 20 & 30cms SMD = 14mm Predicted crop use = 2 – 2.5 mm per day Crop next due for 20-25mm irrigation 12th -14th August Field Capacity Rainfall Irrigation Irrigation trigger
  11. 11. Tensiometer
  12. 12. Overhead Irrigation Irrigation event Daily water uptake Plant water uptake stops by night
  13. 13. Drip Irrigations matching crop water uptake Rainfall
  14. 14. Drip Versus Boom / Raingun 7 day interval between irrigations Daily irrigations matching crop uptake
  15. 15. Remote Continuous Logging Solution •Capacitance Probe •Measuring at multi-depths •Vertical insertion into the soil creating minimal disturbance •Data sent to remote server for analysis •Web based – view anytime anywhere
  16. 16. Advisory service •Consultants interpret the data and publish to the web 35mm gain from heavy rainfall •Irrigation thresholds set determined Daytime crop use by crop growth stage & soil type •Regular in field inspections useful to validate the data •Data displayed in mm of water making it easy for the user to understand •Be informed anytime anywhere
  17. 17. Daily water use in mm Irrigation / rainfall in mm Field Capacity Moisture content graph – top 50cm Irrigation trigger Onset of stress
  18. 18. Raingun Applies large volumes quickly Good in irregular shaped fields Ease of moving from pull to pull and field to field Potentially better than boom on lower infiltration rate soils
  19. 19. Boom Advantages: Even distribution of water across spread width Wetting of the entire ridge / bed environment Big advantage over the raingun in windy conditions Ease of movement from field to field
  20. 20. Drip Irrigation Advantages: Ability to meet plant’s uptake need Controlled deficit irrigation possible Low energy requirement Spray and irrigate Reduced disease (eg blight) environment Efficient use of water - placed where required Option to fertigate
  21. 21.
  22. 22. The Concept – Cable free! Sensors Collecting data from the field Communication modules Internet Transferring the information to the & users Cellular Software Processing & presenting the data to the users
  23. 23.
  24. 24. Sensor Family Soil Moisture Plant parameter Operational & hydraulic Environmental
  25. 25. Soil Moisture Tensiometer Echo 20cm (moisture) Aquaspy Echo 5cm (Capacitance) (moisture) Echo Te (moisture) NetaSense (temperature) (TDR) (Ec)
  26. 26. Operational & Hydraulic Flow Meters
  27. 27. Plant Parameter • Dendrometer – Measures the Plant stem expansion and shrinkage as an indication of plant water potential • Leaf-Sen – Leaf-thickness-sensor that accurately and continuously assesses leaf turgor
  28. 28. Environmental • Weather Station – Developed to maintain all considerations of new requirement and standards – Can be used for open fields/ greenhouse applications – Irrigation scheduling, disease prediction models • Temperature – Provides an accurate and stable reading – Up to three sensors per transmitter
  29. 29. Precision Irrigation Management Summary: Make sure farm systems are performing reliably and effectively Maximise crop quantity and quality Minimise and optimise water and fertiliser consumption Ensuring you're in control wherever you are
  30. 30. Any Questions?