BayWa invests in digitalising and automating existing irrigation systems

15-08 | |
The Spherag solutionshould be able to reduce water and energy consumption in agriculture by one-third with little effort. - Photo: BayWa
The Spherag solution should be able to reduce water and energy consumption in agriculture by one-third with little effort. - Photo: BayWa

BayWa AG has invested in the Spanish start-up Spherag through its investment arm, BayWa Venture GmbH. Spherag has developed an internet of things (IoT) solution to digitalise and automate existing irrigation systems, reducing water and energy consumption in agriculture by one-third.

The new investment will be used to expand distribution operations and develop additional use cases for the current solution in the area of precision irrigation.

The Spherag solution consists of solar-powered modules that can be fitted to the control units of existing irrigation systems. The network of modules creates a digital twin of the system, which monitors irrigation in real time and can be controlled directly.

Manage irrigation remotely using smartphones

In future, farmers will be able to manage irrigation remotely using their smartphones instead of opening and closing each of the valves by hand. “Suddenly there is no longer any need to walk around the entire field,” says Marion Meyer, Managing Director of BayWa Venture GmbH. “Not only does this save time, it also reduces energy consumption and water usage and minimises unnecessary nitrogen leaching.”

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The Spherag solution consists of solar-powered modules that can be fitted to the control units of existing irrigation systems. - Photo: BayWa
The Spherag solution consists of solar-powered modules that can be fitted to the control units of existing irrigation systems. - Photo: BayWa

Weather stations and soil moisture sensors

Other data sources such as weather stations and soil moisture sensors can also be integrated into the Spherag system. Other functions include measuring water consumption. “Irrigation in agriculture is still very much an analogue process,” Meyer adds. “Spherag is the gateway to the digital world. It’s a particularly interesting solution for water-intensive cultures such as nuts or avocados, which are in high demand from consumers but are often criticised due to the amount of water needed to grow them. But fruit and vegetable growing in Germany can benefit from the new technology, too.”

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The network of IoT modules creates a digital twin of the entire irrigation system, which monitors irrigation in real time and can be controlled directly. - Photo: BayWa
The network of IoT modules creates a digital twin of the entire irrigation system, which monitors irrigation in real time and can be controlled directly. - Photo: BayWa
Claver
Hugo Claver Web editor for Future Farming



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