Smart farmers

Background

Three harvests per year with the help of smart irrigation

The Brazilian farmer Antonio Luís Revolta aims to harvest three soybean crops in just one season after verifying the results of a smart irrigation system on his property.

To do that, he received technical support from the cooperative “Coopercitrus” to prepare a customized project and to acquire cutting-edge irrigation equipment.

Installed in September last year, the pivots have been tested during October, beginning of the soybean crop, to accelerate production with four irrigating cycles.

With the first harvest, in February this year, he achieved a 65% higher productivity, from 40 to 66 bags per hectare, in the region of Barretos, in São Paulo state.

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The pivot towers move neatly, saving water and improving efficiency, and are equipped with meteorological sensors for temperature, rain, and relative humidity. - Photo: Coopercitrus
The pivot towers move neatly, saving water and improving efficiency, and are equipped with meteorological sensors for temperature, rain, and relative humidity. - Photo: Coopercitrus

Smart irrigation a pivotal tool

The results show smart irrigation has become a pivotal tool for him to maintain competitiveness and ensure a quick and significant return on investment.

According to Revolta, the pivot was already an old desire. After four decades of producing grains on 260 hectares, the farmer saw his productivity drop due to the droughts recorded in the last two years. That was enough reason to decide on investing in a robust irrigation system to recover the results.

Bruno Garcia, an employee at the farm, sees another benefit from the system. “Moreover the productivity increasing in each crop, we got a window of time to have another cycle of corn right after this harvest, before the sanitary void,” he says.

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Valley is the supplier of Revolta's smart irrigation system. - Photo: Coopercitrus
Valley is the supplier of Revolta's smart irrigation system. - Photo: Coopercitrus

Sensors for temperature, rain, and relative humidity

To foster efficiency, the system brings some of the most innovative functions available on the market. Among them, the pivot towers move neatly, saving water and improving efficiency, and have meteorological sensors for temperature, rain, and relative humidity.

“These resources favored the irrigation management. Using meteorological data for each plot in the area, the usage of water improves efficiently. The equipment can also run applications of fertilizers and pesticides mixed with water”, describes the manager of the irrigation department at Coopercitrus, Rubens Mendes.

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Smart irrigation has become a pivotal tool for Antonio Luís Revolta to maintain competitiveness and ensure a quick and significant return on investment. - Photo: Coopercitrus
Smart irrigation has become a pivotal tool for Antonio Luís Revolta to maintain competitiveness and ensure a quick and significant return on investment. - Photo: Coopercitrus

Telemetry system

The project has a telemetry system as well, which allows the producer to monitor the pivot remotely by smartphone or computer, without the need to walk around the field every day.

“This makes the use of autonomy not only to turn it on and off but to schedule irrigation times and check the functioning and quality of the sprinkler as well,” points the specialist out.

The producer approves the solution that uses equipment from Valley. “This reduces risks in agriculture. Our control over the production has improved. Even after weeks without rain, we were still able to continue planting and cultivating good results”, he concludes.

Also read: Growing smart irrigation market driven by IoT devices

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