04 Oct 70% irrigation savings in walnuts using EnviroSCAN
Noceto own 200Ha of specialised orchards. Every farmer has a micro-sprinkler irrigation system. The water for irrigation is sourced from one channel. The soils vary from medium to clay and in every soil there is shallow ground water that provides a good supply of water improving the saturation-time and the draining time.
Il Noceto, as other recognised companies do, has a high level of awareness for fertilization strategies and other agronomic practices. With the choice of volume and intervals, it was very difficult to manage the irrigations. Il Noceto chose to purchase Sentek’s product as an important decisional support tool.
The Sentek probe allows the user to measure soil moisture down the profile at different depths.
The agronomist can then access the data via the Internet from any computer, anywhere in the world. The data is displayed in real time. The agronomist can then download the data in to Sentek’s IrriMAX™ software to define what the best irrigation strategy should be.
The quality of the data influenced the decision to reduce the number of irrigations resulting in increased yield. The equipment was paid for in just one season.
The use of continuous soil moisture monitoring produced precise information for Il Noceto regarding:
- The depth of the active rootzone
- Infiltration and saturation time
- The water being sourced from ground water by the crop
- The effect of irrigation
- Daily crop water use
- The evapotraspiration rate
This information was used to set the budget lines including the full point, field capacity and stress point to manage the irrigation:
- Avoiding the need to put water under the root zone
- Avoiding saturation resulting in plant stress
- Reducing 70 % of irrigation, a result of recognising the real need of the plant
- Improving yield quality
The data produced by the 14 EnviroSCAN probes displayed with Sentek’s powerful IrriMAX™ software, alerted them that they were applying too much water to the walnut crop. As a result, irrigations were reduced by 70% improving the quality of the walnut, reducing shrivelling of the walnuts and improving the total yield.