Smart phone technology to help irrigation

SMART APP: A new water app being developed around the best time to water crops.
SMART APP: A new water app being developed around the best time to water crops.

HORTICULTURE Innovation Australia is joining forces with agriculture technology company The Yield to deliver a new mobile app to help guide irrigation decisions.

Hort Innovation Research general manager David Moore said knowing when and how much to irrigate crops could be a challenge for growers, particularly because only a portion currently used moisture probes to make these decisions on their land.

"This app will harness the power of technology to take away some of the uncertainty growers face when deciding when the best time to irrigate is, and how much water might be needed,” Mr Moore said.

"It's a simple, easy-to-use solution that will help growers improve irrigation efficiency, with flow-on effects for crop yields, profitability and sustainability.

"With a focus on brassicas, carrots, lettuce and leafy vegetables, initially the app will allow growers to enter a location, crop type and crop growth stage to get a quick and easy estimate of vegetable crop water use and soil water balance.”

Ultimately growers will be able to simply enter a planting date for their crops and have crop growth stages adjusted automatically.

The models enabling the app will be developed in partnership with the Queensland University of Technology, a leading research organisation in the field of bioinformatics and data analytics.

The first release of the app is expected in October this year, with a basic free version and a paid subscription service with added functionality to be available for iOS, Android and Windows platforms.

Topics:  irrigation

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