Irrigation system procedures are resource-intensive. About 50% of water in traditional irrigation system is wasted due to overuse as water becomes scarce due to climate change, we need to look for better water management procedures. Smart irrigation allows farmers to automated water cycles based on soil moisture content and requirement rather than a periodic oversupply of water. These smart agriculture techniques are expected to increase the overall yield.
Smart irrigation system uses on field to sensors to measure variables and take necessary steps accordingly. System monitors for variables like weather, soil condition, evaporation, moisture, and humidity.
Weather-Based sensors and Soil Moisture Sensors
These systems use broadly two main types of controllers. Namely, on-site soil moisture sensors and Weather-based sensors. Geographic location and environment decide the selection of the type of controller.
Soil moisture sensors
Soil moisture sensors are buried in the root zone of shrubs, accurately determine the moisture level in the soil and communicate the reading. Based on the input from the sensors, controllers take actions accordingly. We have suspended cycle irrigation systems, here the systems are designed like traditional time controllers. Watering starts as per the predetermined schedule and runs for the programmed time. Based on the input received from on-site sensors regarding moisture content, the system may stop or allow the next scheduled irrigation cycle. This enables the system to prevent water waste that could have happened if the required moisture was attained in the previous cycle.
There are simpler systems like water on-demand irrigation. Here these irrigation systems requires no specific schedules or water tables. These smart agriculture innovations contains minimum and maximum threshold limit registered. When the sensor input indicates a reading outside the range, the controller takes necessary actions. If the moisture content falls below the specified range, watering starts and stops after crossing the maximum threshold.
Weather-based irrigation controllers
Weather-based controllers are complex systems that use local weather data to adjust irrigation schedules. They are also known as evapotranspiration controllers. Controller gathers local weather data to adjust their water cycle timetable. Smart irrigation system gathers data regarding temperature, wind, solar radiation, and humidity. These inputs help to calculate accurate water demand.
The technology would use meteorological data from publicly available sources and calculate local water demands. This type of controller is known as the signal-based controller. Controllers can also use past water tables to program a water curve that can be adjusted to solar radiation and temperature to plan effective water running schedules. They are known as historic controllers.
These irrigation can have multiple sensors deployed across the field to take real-time continuous readings to plan water schedules, On-site weather measurement controllers are the most complex type and are costly. But On-site controllers provide accurate data and help in water conservation.
It make use of sprinkles, trickle, and subsurface methods to deliver water to plants. Sprinkles are usually used in the golf course, stadiums, and other large grass patches. Sprinklers distribute water through the air, like water. Trickle irrigation delivery is a direct water delivery type. In trickle systems, water is delivered to the roots of plants directly. Surface irrigation is the most traditional type of water delivery system. Water is supplied to plats via irrigation ditches. Surface irrigation systems are ineffective due to evaporation losses. The subsurface method is among the most efficient water delivery systems. Water pipes are buried next to the plant root zone and supply water to the root. Both subsurface and trickle methods same most water due to fewer evaporation losses associated with them
Existing underground systems may be retrofitted with smart agriculture innovations technology by replacing the present controller with a smart one. Add-on weather or moisture-based sensors can be utilized with existing controllers and systems in some situations, saving the expense of acquiring a new controller.
The systems optimize water levels based on inputs regarding moisture and weather predictions. Wireless inputs from the censors and meteorological database assist the controller in taking necessary steps. It saves about 20% of water when compared with traditional irrigation systems. Weather based smart agriculture innovations use natural agents like rains to save water. Smart agriculture innovations also result in cost benefits for property owners. Smart irrigation run on fixed water cycle and are fully automated, which reduces human effort in maintaining lawns.
The systems provide an opportunity to effectively use water and conserve water for future use. Smart agriculture innovations are an eco friendly way of maintaining huge estates, golf course, and other aesthetic landscapes. Smart agriculture innovation offers multiple benefits to property owners and prevents water wastage. This blog provides basic information regarding smart irrigation. Users can login to Global Market Database to understand the dynamic changes in this market.