Are Smart Irrigation Systems Worth It? Here’s What Farmers and Experts Say

By 2050, food production will need to double to meet demand as the population keeps growing. To combat hunger, science and technology will have to come up with innovative solutions–it’s safe to say that the use of AI in agriculture is a solid step toward finding efficient fixes.

Smart irrigation refers to innovative technology that aims to provide the plant with all the nutrients it needs. Whether it is dosing water, pesticides, herbicides, or preventing possible damage to the system with sensors, smart irrigation helps farmers produce healthier, higher quality crops, and grow a sustainable agribusiness.

5 Ways Smart Irrigation Increases Your ROI

In 2020, the Smart Irrigation Market was valued at $1.44 billion. These digits speak volumes about the popularity of smart irrigation systems among farmers, who are still hesitant in applying technology on their land. As their knowledge and interest in smart systems in agriculture grows, the value of the smart irrigation market is expected to reach $5.57 billion by the year 2030.

Smart irrigation dominates the market as more and more farmers enjoy the benefits it provides.

Smart Irrigation Systems Reduce the Use of Resources

One of the reasons smart irrigation systems are worth the investment is the reduced usage of resources, including water and energy. The system recognizes the exact amount of water and fertilizers that a plant needs and provides it.

The main goal is to provide the plant with exactly what it needs, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be irrigated less.

However, no resource goes to waste and each plant is given exactly what it needs–whether it’s more or less. This leads to significant savings in water, herbicides, and pesticides, and savings of over 406 000 liters/ha.

Reduced water use implies that farmers immediately start cutting down water bills as soon as they install a smart irrigation system. As the pumps work less because sensors optimize irrigation according to the plant’s needs, the energy bills decrease, too.

Smart Irrigation Increases Yields

According to research, it’s possible to increase the yields five times with smart irrigation. By using sensors, the smart irrigation systems detect when the crop needs water or other nutrients. When the crop receives the best possible care and all the nutrients it takes, the chances for crop failure are significantly lower.

The plant is not under stress with soil moisture sensors and controllers, which detect when the plant is not receiving enough nutrients. For this reason, farmers can see an increase in yields when they start using smart irrigation systems–this increase leads to higher earnings from the yields, which makes the initial investment in the watering system pay off.

Smart Irrigation Helps You Grow Higher-Quality Crops

Another spectacular advantage of using smart irrigation systems is the better quality of crops. Crops are receiving all that they need with smart irrigation equipment. In turn, such crops’ taste, nutrients, and appearance are better than regular crops.

Farmers agree that they can sell such crops at a higher price, thus establishing better positions in the market. High-quality crops unlock the financial potential and increase the income of farmers.

Providing the plant exactly what it needs leads to more nutritious fruits and crops.

Smart Irrigation Reduces the Need for Physical Labor

Farmers are dedicated, hard-working people who had to rely only on themselves if they wanted to succeed. Agriculture demands 24/7 availability, and the love for agriculture makes any success possible.

Luckily, farmers can now relax with the evolution of smart irrigation technologies. State-of-the-art, yet moderate in price, smart irrigation devices improve the quality of farmers` life.

Namely, watering crops doesn’t have to be done manually anymore. With soil-moisture sensors, flow, wind, and rain sensors, there is no need for farmers to turn the irrigation system on and off. The sensors detect when there is enough water and stop the system from running another cycle. Farmers don’t need to employ people to perform wet-checks for them anymore and pay them to monitor the orchards on-site.

A direct consequence of this approach is that farmers can stay at their homes, focusing on further evolving their business, and not have to get into their cars, visit the orchard, and manage irrigation. According to a study, the need for workforce action has been reduced four times.

Sensors Detect Abnormalities and Help Prevent Damage

Installing any system at a farm comes with a particular risk. Risk of damage, system malfunction, and improper installation. This is why farmers are hesitant when it comes to new technologies. However, sensors can detect terrible weather conditions and manage crop irrigation while avoiding damage to the system.

Flow sensors will detect abnormal quantities of water and alert the person in charge of irrigation. Whether there is flooding or any issue with the system, a farmer will know immediately.

Rain and wind can alter irrigation as the plant can get too much or too little water and nutrients. Wind can prevent crops from getting what they need, as nutrients cannot access the plant. Sensors detect this and start and stop irrigation when the conditions are right.

The Verdict: Smart Irrigation Systems are Worth It

“A sound system that can send the [soil moisture] data into the cloud and send that to your phone might cost around $2,000, but it’s a no-brainer if it can save you $60-70,000 across an area of 100 hectares over the course of the irrigation season. “, according to James Hills, from the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture at the University of Tasmania.

The initial investment is necessary, but the potential that farmers can achieve is invaluable. Developing business, preserving crops, and an improved lifestyle of farmers make smart irrigation systems worth it in the long run.

Farmers living and growing crops in drier areas do not have to fear the lack of water anymore. Smart irrigation systems use up every drop of water and make sure nothing is scattered unnecessarily.

Start enjoying the unlimited potential of a smart irrigation system and give us a call today.

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