A farmer’s life has never been easy.
Failed crops, decreased yields, plants under stress, extreme weather conditions, and working around the clock have been common occurrences. However, with drip irrigation innovations and the increase of AI in agriculture, we can finally see some improvements in terms of doing what’s best for each plant and better control over what’s happening on the farm when we’re not there.
In this article, we present to you the top five drip irrigation tech upgrades in this article. These tech upgrades will help you grow your drip irrigation company and offer a top quality product to your customers.
PC Drippers for a Stable Drip Flow
Short for pressure compensating drippers, PC drippers are one of the best tech upgrades in drip irrigation. Growing crops on flat terrain with enough rainfall throughout the year is every farmer`s dream. Even in drier areas, uneven terrain, slopes, and hills do not pose such a serious issue anymore.
The introduction of PC drippers meant that there is now a stable drip flow even in cases of low water pressure. Furthermore, PC drippers enable a steady flow of water even in uneven terrains so that every plant receives the right amount of nutrients. Farmers can also use more than one dripper in a single line.
There are two types of PC drippers, PCND (Pressure Compensating Non-Drain) and PCAS (Pressure Compensating Anti-Siphon).
PCND: This dripper prevents water from draining out of the pipe. The drippers will seal when the water pressure falls beneath a certain threshold.
PCAS: The PCAS dripper prevents clogging as the siphon does not let any soil or other debris into the pipe.
Farmers typically use PC drippers for orchards, as they function above the ground. Furthermore, these drippers are ideal for long-length pipes at uneven terrains.
Smart Watering Controller for Remote Irrigation Management
Smart Watering controller is an ideal add-on to an already existing irrigation system. Farmers are happy to learn that it does not require any change in infrastructure and that it does not cost extra to install it.
Smart Watering Controller measures soil moisture, EC, and temperature. Furthermore, it measures water flow and ph. The reading happens in real-time so that farmers have an accurate and precise reading at the palm of their hands.
The controller measures the results using sensors and sends them to the cloud. Farmers can easily read the results via an app on their phones.
Upgrading a drip irrigation system with this device enables farmers to be away from the farm and still successfully manage drip irrigation. Because it can read many parameters and make intelligent decisions based on the current state of the soil, there is no need for excess use of water and fertilizers.
Farmers continually save money because of reduced water and fertilizers used.
Weather Stations for Adapting to Different Weather
Intelligent irrigation systems get data either from sensors or weather stations. Weather stations collect weather data and, based on the information, determine whether the drip irrigation system should run another cycle or pause. The goal is the same: providing the plant with enough nutrients following the weather conditions.
A great thing about weather stations is that farmers can easily install them and start enjoying the benefits immediately. Weather stations do not measure only the amount of rainfall but also have wind thresholds and high/low points.
Using weather station results is fantastic because farmers can get an alert on their phones without having to be physically present on site. Tech upgrades are all about making the lives of farmers more effortless and more high-quality.
The use of weather stations can reduce water use from 20 to 40 percent. Some might have a water reduction of 20% and some of 40% because the deduction depends on the type of soil and weather conditions in the area.
Soil-Moisture Sensors for Irrigation Scheduling
When it comes to increasing yields, profits, and efficiency, installing a soil moisture sensor is a step in the right direction. For farmers who use or plan to use a drip irrigation system, a soil moisture sensor will provide the best results for growing high-quality crops. These sensors are used for irrigation scheduling, which gives the farmer greater control over when irrigation will happen.
Capacitance Soil-Moisture Sensors
A capacitance soil-moisture sensor uses a circuit to store energy as an electrical charge. This sensor is inexpensive and easy to install. Furthermore, it does not often require maintenance. Annual maintenance is enough to check whether everything is in order.
TDR – Time Domain Reflector
Another type of soil moisture sensor that is perfect for farmers is TDR soil-moisture sensors. TDR sensors consist of two to three metal rods that pass electromagnetic waves between them when inside the soil. The results occur based on how long it takes for the waves to pass from one metal rod to another. The sensors are highly accurate and cause minimal soil disruption.
TDT – Time Domain Transmissometer
Inexpensive and highly accurate, these sensors have a similar way of functioning as TDR soil-moisture sensors. The difference is that TDT sensors operate on a closed circuit. The time it takes the waves to pass from one rod to another is an indicator of crop water capacity.
Wind, Rain, and Freeze Sensors for Saving Resources and System Protection
We include all three of these sensors into the five tech upgrades for drip irrigation because they are often installed together as one sensor.
Due to wind, water from drip irrigation can completely miss the plant and go to waste. Wind sensors prevent this by pausing the drip irrigation system when the wind strength reaches a particular threshold.
When there is enough rain, there is no need for irrigation. Smart drip irrigation systems pause or reschedule irrigation cycles until the soil dries up, saving water and energy.
Freeze sensors prevent water from freezing and possibly damaging the drip irrigation system. When the temperature falls below 32F, the sensor will turn off the irrigation.
Add-ons Worth Investing in
Drip irrigation evolves every day, and it steadily resolves farmers’ everlasting issues one by one. By including easy-to-install, practical add-ons that can enhance the performance of drip irrigation systems, you can increase customer satisfaction and drive growth for your precision irrigation business.
If you want to be a part of this innovative agriculture AI and boost your products with even more value, give us a call right away.