Autonomous Technologies to Tackle Farming’s Irrigation Challenges
The “Climate Smart Agriculture: Cutting Edge Irrigation Technologies” panel at FIRA USA explored the latest irrigation technologies, from fully automated sprayers to precision spray solutions.
The agriculture industry has its fair share of known challenges. From labor shortages to shipping delays, price increases to severe weather conditions, farmers are experts in finding ways to do their jobs in spite of the odds against them. One persistent problem involves on of the world’s most precious resources: water. At the FIRA USA event in Fresno, California, a panel of experts met to discuss how the latest technologies might be able to help farmers irrigate their crops with greater precision and using less water.
The “Climate Smart Agriculture: Cutting Edge Irrigation Technologies” included Dr. Sebastian Saa (California Almond Board), Erez Fait (Agrinoze), Dr. Dilruba Yeasmin (Center for Irrigation Technology and California Water Institute) and John Cardoz (Sustainable Conservation). Dr. Amrith Gunaekara (California Bountiful Foundation) moderated the panel, and the following abstract is based on his notes following the discussion.
The feedback by the panelists, representing academia, irrigation technology manufacturing, agricultural associations, and scientific non-profit research, first explained how they interface with irrigation technologies in their respective organizations. Their efforts included creating and distributing new irrigation technologies, new research findings to bring additional cropping systems (e.g., field crops) into efficient irrigation, and how grower supported organizations look at this technology and guide its development.
The panel discussed that there is a plethora of irrigation technologies out for grower consumption which can be a benefit but also confusing to the farmer on which one to use. The panelist agreed that the resolution and precision of irrigation technology will continue to improve over time. The panelists also discussed that more technical assistance should be made available to farmers who are implementing efficient irrigation technologies.
The panel agreed that autonomous systems would be useful if designed in a user-friendly manner for farmers to use. They shared new research findings and technology available now can further enhance water efficiency on farms and contribute positively to moving the needle on climate smart agriculture.
For more information about the latest irrigation technologies, read “Autonomous Irrigation Solutions Help California Growers Use Water Wisely” here.
Picture: Agriglobe @Agrinoze