Irriga System® provides an irrigation management service by recommending the water depth to be applied on each cropped field during the entire crop season. The criteria for when to irrigate and how much water to apply are based on the specific crop agronomic parameters, soil characteristics, weather conditions (measured and forecasted) and irrigation system. Mathematical models simulate the soil water balance, crop growth and development, estimate reference evapotranspiration, and among other factors, provide the daily irrigation recommendations for each field. The probability of irrigation needs for the next seven days is also provided.
The recommendations are made available through the Internet. Figure 1 presents how the irrigation recommendation is made available to growers. This information is daily updated. The extended irrigation forecast for the next seven days is also provided.
Figure 1: Example of how the irrigation recommendation is delivered to growers.
The service estimates the available soil water content and recommends the required irrigation depth to be applied.
When following the system recommendations, the grower increases crop and water productivity, saves water and energy, and significantly contributes to an environmental sustainability. Also, our recommendations reduce the risk of yield losses due to water stress or excess, while being very practical to operate and require minimal interference of the grower in the configuration or operation of the system. Irrigation recommendations are provided at real-time via Internet access, smartphones, SMS or by phone.
Throughout the crop season our technical field staff makes periodic visits to all growers and fields (every 10-14 days). Our team closely follows the grower during the entire irrigation period, participating directly and exclusively in the irrigation management. The team possesses adequate knowledge of all the processes involving the use of all Irriga System recommendations, from data collection, survey and analysis of all operation requirements (e.g. soil information, climatic data, crop parameters and irrigation system), to irrigation planning and management.
During the field visits, the technicians determine: soil moisture in at least three different soil profile depths, in locations previously identified as representative of the irrigated area; the phenological crop stage; the root depth; plant height, leaf area index and plant density; the crop phyto-sanitary aspects, such as the incidence of invasive plants and the nutritional status of the plants. All these factors directly affect crop consumptive water use and require the adjustment of the irrigation management during the crop development. We do not provide any other agronomic recommendation or even a comment to growers.
Visits are scheduled in advance, with adequate arrangement of date, time and name of the technician who will perform the visit. Thus, the grower has the option to organize and follow the visit or designate someone to follow and attend to the technical team, in addition to clarifying any doubts about the irrigation recommendations.
If for some reason our technical staff is not able to solve or react to a new problem, the main office has a crew of specialized personnel to immediately reach a solution or any alternative procedure to solve or alleviate the grower irrigation problem.
During the field visit, a report is made containing the information collected on-site by our field staff. Field reports are constantly uploaded to the Irriga System's website and made available online to growers.
The growers or the contracting company receive a weekly report via email and website with a summary for each grower and field under management. This report contains the total recommended irrigation depth and dates, rainfall amounts and dates, water use of the last 7, 10 and 15 days, soil water content, plant height, plant phenologic stage and field photos.