The system adequately fits the crop irrigation management to meet climatic demand and soil water availability to plants, taking into account the influence of all factors of water balance, especially crop water demand.
In all monitored fields, soil samples are collected to characterize the physical and hydraulic properties of the soil profile. The database of the soil physical and hydraulic characteristics of each irrigated field (soil texture, porosity, bulk density, soil structure, soil water characteristics, etc.) is permanently used and updated.
The system's database contains information of dozens of irrigated crops from different countries and regions, including several commercial hybrids information. For each crop, cultivar or hybrid, the following information is stored and used: plants characteristics such as leaf area, plant height, root depth, plant density and spacing, critical periods, plant canopy architecture, crop growth stage and seasonal water use.
All the technical information of the irrigation method and system of each field, such as the minimum and maximum daily irrigation water depth, minimum time of application, water flow, energy consumption, daily operation time, system uniformity and efficiency, is also stored.
Irriga System has its own network of automatic weather stations to provide daily weather data (air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed, atmospheric pressure and rainfall) for each region or field being monitored. More than 200 weather stations were installed, and transmit data in real time to the central system. The server automatically processes this data upon receiving. It contains routines to identify data quality problems to avoid using inaccurate information.
The server has models and program routines to process information on soil, plant, climate and irrigation system for each irrigated field and recommends precisely when and how much water to apply. The determination of the crop evapotranspiration throughout the growth season is a critical variable to the soil water balance, to accurately determine crop water requirement. The methods available for estimating crop evapotranspiration are many and of complex configuration. We use Penman-Monteith method, detailed in FAO-56, using the technical procedures of dual coefficients, that separates crop transpiration and soil evaporation, which greatly increases the accuracy in the determination of consumptive water use and ensuring logical recommendations. Our models take into consideration all parameters of the soil water balance, such as evapotranspiration (plant transpiration and soil evaporation), deep percolation, surface runoff, effective precipitation and constant measurements of the water content of soil profile.