Whoever intends to use the Smart Irrigator must have a plot of land that is ready for crop production. It must be nicely tilled and with a drip or furrow irrigation system installed. The intending user must also own an automated weather station or be willing to purchase online weather data from the weather data sellers. The user must also have a mobile handset through which the irrigation and fertilizer advisor messages shall be sent after registering for the service. The intending user must also have data on his/her soil texture (i.e., whether it is clay, sand, loam, silty loam, clay loam, silty, etc.). The system provides a drop-down menu with the in-built soil texture properties. The user also needs to have data on the salt content of their irrigation water and the size of the plot of land in square metres.
The Smart Irrigator can operate in any country of the world where weather changes affect crop moisture uptake and demands.
Not quite. Currently the Smart Irrigator operates on a web platform but are in the process of creating an android app.
The system is not free except during the 30 days trial period. There are price offers that depend on number of applications the user wants to access.
The application development was triggered by interest from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who wanted a mobile application which delivers part of its peaceful use of atomic energy in agricultural research and development.
No. One doesn’t need to be a professional farmer to use the Smart Irrigator. The application is developed for every category of farmer so long as they have all that is required for the service to be fully functional.
The best time to water your plot is late in the evening when the ambient temperatures are low and evapotranspiration is minimal. We send the user information in the very wee hours of the morning and the expectation is that the message is used to give the required water to the plant on that specific day. Our model is based on replacing water lost each day by evapotranspiration. Should the user choose to stagger the water application to a certain number of days, the the system can be reprogrammed to compute the amount of water lost by evapotranspiration for suggested number of days and provide information based on the total amount that has been lost.
The best water for irrigation is water with a pH of about 7 that has no salts or that has very little slats that affect the specific crop. The developers have included a table that captures the salt content limits (maximum mand minimum) for different crops and how much water is required for the water to leach out the salts in the soil and/or in the water use for irrigation.
No. We only use the soil conditions to determine the water requirement for day one of the irrigation. We can use sensor and redesign the irrigation requirement based on the soil moisture status.
We currently have 36 crops built into the system. They are coupled with all the irrigation determining parameters such as the Kc, and Kr factors.