Webinar On Smart Farming Tech In Africa: Key Takeaways
Learn the key takeaways from the webinar on precision agriculture improving livelihoods and increasing yields in Africa, hosted jointly by EOS Data Analytics and Agroxchange Technology.
Water is a crucial factor for plant growth, alongside light and warmth. Some agrarians are lucky enough to work in the areas with frequent rains and thus sufficient rainfall to provide water supply. However, most lands have to be irrigated artificially to regularly cover its lack, with drip irrigation being in demand worldwide.
There exist four major types of irrigation:
Water flows naturally and spreads on the field in compliance with the law of gravity. It does not employ any advanced technologies but requires huge water volumes, so it is justified when soil infiltration is low. This method is suitable for clay soils but will be difficult to implement in sandy ones.
Surface irrigation is performed in the following ways:
Water is sprayed through machinery or manually operated tools.
They can be installed either temporarily or permanently, and move forward or rotate. Sprinklers differ in pressure and size of droplets depending on their guns and nozzles.
They are not suitable for all crops as big drops and high pressure damage them. It would destroy flowers in blooming plants and eradicate pollination. Furthermore, the equipment will be out of service with any insoluble particles stuck inside the system. Another issue is that moisture distribution is highly affected by winds.
What is drip irrigation and how does it work? Moisture is delivered with tiny pipes placed in lines, so this type is also known as drip tape, or drip line irrigation. The droplets are directed to the crop proper at low pressure, and lack of water nearby hinders the development of weeds. Thus, it not only prevents plant starvation due to weeds but greatly reduces the volume of necessary water, which is among the major benefits of drip irrigation.
However, drip tapes are sensitive to machinery and easily damaged or blocked with insoluble particles. On the contrary, soluble substances allow combining water supply with fertilizing. The method is defined as fertigation.
Plant roots are saturated inside the soil via pipes and drippers. This type is similar to the irrigation drip system in low water consumption. What is more, since moisture comes under the ground, it does not evaporate. Nevertheless, underground drip irrigation line is not only highly vulnerable to insoluble particles but to root hairs, machinery and tilling as well.
It is important to optimally support plant moisture needs with spending minimum resources and energy. The amount consumed shall not exceed the volume that can be restored.
There are three major approaches to implement the idea:
Irrigation and monitoring systems are deployed worldwide as they are called to facilitate labor and reduce inputs. Leaving crop moisturizing needs unaddressed at least once may result in the entire loss of yields. It is difficult to control the situation monitoring it all the time unless you delegate the job to specially designated online platforms and apps.
Precision agriculture and precision irrigation, in particular, enable you to save precious resources without subjecting plants to moisture deficiency.
Irrigation included in the general system of farm management typically relies on sensors in the fields. This approach is way more expensive than acquiring the same information using satellite images.
Crop Monitoring has recently launched a new feature to analyze soil moisture and to notify of estimated droughts or floods equipping farmers with proper knowledge in time. It also provides weather forecasts to schedule farm activities in the most beneficial way.
Thus, you won’t irrigate or fertilize when the rain is expected. You will save resources and will protect nature from pesticide leakage as chemicals won’t be washed off the plants with the undesired rain showers.
Crop Monitoring solutions for drip irrigation
EOS Crop Monitoring provides the user, among other functionality, with Precipitation and Weather graphs. Based on the analysis of accumulated precipitation values, the user is able to assess the level of moisture in a specific field and make reliable decisions for irrigation and adjust plans according to weather data. This helps to avoid excessive irrigation or vice versa. At the same time, with the help of the Zoning features (which allows for the clustering of fields based on productivity levels, as well as vegetation indices data), the user is able to effectively implement drip irrigation, thus saving time and resources.
As a result, the aforementioned actions will help you to utilize and implement the most optimal irrigation plan for your fields possible.
In fact, you keep the situation under control with precise and prompt real-time reports, and Crop Monitoring inspects everything for you. If you manage water saturation with online tools, you are likely to enjoy the ultimate benefit with minimum efforts.
Assigning the monitoring tasks to the online platform, you hire a diligent employee that always stays alert to immediately notify you of any detected issue.