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4 case studies on monitoring and optimizing irrigation

August 09, 2022

How to monitor and optimize irrigation? Four users of the 30MHz platform explain how to use a the platform for accurate EC and water content information. “The ability to reprogram our irrigation and nutrient dosing is priceless. If we get the substrate wrong for even one day then we stand to lose 20-30% of our yield”.

Piñata Farms

EC and water content readings to appropriately adjust the drip irrigation system and nutrient dosing

Australia’s largest pineapple producer, Piñata Farms started with a single pineapple farm in Queensland, Australia in the 1960s. Today it is the only year-long supplier of fresh pineapples, a leading producer of summer and winter strawberries, and with joint venture partner, BerryWorld Group, produce specialty berries for BerryWorld Australia.

30MHz and its local partner in Australia, Royal Brinkman, have been working closely with Piñata Farms since late September, 2018. Piñata Farms deploys 30MHz’s pointed micro-climate sensors, substrate moisture sensors and gateways in its Applethorpe and Wamuran farm locations. With the 30MHz agri-data platform, Piñata Farms is able to monitor and optimise irrigation, and collaborate with berry growers across the globe, at BerryWorld in the United Kingdom. Piñata Farms uses the EC and water content readings from the wireless sensors to appropriately adjust its drip irrigation system and nutrient dosing.

Through the 30MHz platform’s collaboration features, growers at Piñata Farms can share dashboards and create groups with the growers at BerryWorld in the UK. This allows easy comparisons and contrasting of the various berry varieties across locations, and enables growers to create comments and ask questions in the dashboard, streamlining the exchange of information.

The 30MHz platform is currently used by 5 growers at Piñata Farms, including Technical Manager Lee Peterson:

“The ability to reprogram our irrigation and nutrient dosing is priceless. If we get the substrate wrong for even one day then we stand to lose 20-30% of our yield,” Lee points out.

“The 30MHz solution provides us with accurate EC and water content information from which we can take immediate action. Furthermore, through its intuitive dashboards and collaboration features, we can easily share the data with our partner company, BerryWorld, in the UK.”

Moors Pepper Farm

Improving crop yields with optimized water and nutrition delivery

Netherlands-based Kwekerij Moors is a market leader in pepper cultivation. The commercial farm transformed its pepper yield through the strategic placement of flexible infrared temperature sensors–developed in partnership with 30MHz– to capture the surface temperature of crops. Moors leveraged sensory data to optimize the delivery of nutrients and water, reducing loss of vegetables due to sunscald at an ROI of 3600%.

“We get so much insight into the temperature of our peppers during the growth phase, and can adjust the greenhouse climate accordingly. Based on this information, we can continually improve the quality of our produce, while cutting energy costs.”

– Sander Berkers, Supervisor

Optimize your irrigation strategy

Too little moisture in the active root zone reduce yields, while excess soil moisture can cause mould and root rot, and wash away minerals.

The app shows you how much water is available in the soil for the plant.

Irrigation Management App

Madestein UK

Improving harvest consistency with VPD monitoring

Madestein UK is specialised in glasshouse-grown lettuce and fresh basil for the United Kingdom’s major food retailers, food service companies and wholesale markets. With over 40 years of growing experience, Madestein grows the freshest and tastiest leaves for customers all year round.

Monitoring crops with the Pointed Micro Climate Sensor, Madestein found that driving VPD higher improved the harvest quality and consistency, leading to a reduction in wastage and better shelf life.

“Having greater insight into what the plant is doing with 30MHz smart sensing tech is really useful, and helps us focus on improving quality and reducing disease risk.”

“We see the impact of capturing metrics that we previously didn’t have. We’ve just started with our climate computer integration as well, so we can now pull data from external sources into one central place, and see the interactions. It’s very interesting insight and has had an impact on our crop management team, helping them focus on optimising output and growth while minimising input.” – Jonathan Zwinkels, Director

Wengfong Nurseries

Cutting fertilizer costs and improving yields

Wengfong Nurseries, leading growers of Chrysanthemum cuttings based in the Cameron Highlands district of Malaysia and the biggest propagator in the country, upgraded from inaccurate handheld sensors and data-loggers (read: time wasted with manually taking measurements) to monitoring EC, VWC, temperature/humidity, and PAR (sunlight strength) remotely with 30MHz wireless sensing technology. E.K. Tan, Director of Wengfong Nurseries:

“I can trust the information from anywhere in the world on my iPhone. Sometimes I cannot sleep and I will check my phone to make sure that my plants are doing okay. I feel more confident in my decisions and I am already saving money everyday through the usage of the 30MHz solution.”

Wengfong has been using 30MHz technology since March, 2018 and is saving approximately $7.50 USD per day in fertilizer cost. In a year, Wengfong is expected to save approximately $2,780.95 USD on fertilizer– more than the nursery spent on smart sensing tech ($2,500 USD, including yearly software fee).

A complete return on investment (and then some) in less than a calendar year? Not too bad!

Irrigation Management Guide

Optimize your irrigation strategy by monitoring and managing soil or substrate moisture levels with the use of Moisture sensors, moisture thresholds, and irrigation alerts.

Gain control over the root zone environment by making measurements, observing trends over time, and using this information to make irrigation decisions.

Download the guide

How can we help you digitise your cultivation process?
Analyse all kinds of information from different data sources such as climate computers, sensors and manual input in a central platform. Improve the production process of your crops, plants, seeds or bulbs together with advisors, distributors and researchers. We are happy to talk to you about which service model is most suitable for your company.

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