Why precision irrigation?

7.7 billion people, that is the world’s population today and by the middle of the century the Earth’s population is expected to hit nine billion, with more than half of that growth taking place in Africa.

Feeding this growing population won’t be easy. 12 years ago a scientists reckoned that the global food system will need to produce more food in the next 50 years than it did in the past 10,000 combined.

Over 33% of us are facing water scarcity today and by the year 2025 that figure may rise to 67%

Did you know that 70% of global water withdrawals are done by farmers and this is where we find the greatest water wastage? 

Actually, approximately 60% of the water used for irrigation is wasted due to evapotranspiration, land runoff or primitive irrigation techniques. 

Continue reading “Why precision irrigation?”

IRRIOT got support for setting up an Operational Group

Good news!
We are thrilled to announce that IRRIOT’s idea got recognized by the Swedish Department of Agriculture, which granted us initial financial support for setting up an Operational Group, which will work in the field of innovations and sustainability in agricultural sector and farming. The main task of the group is to identify major problems farmers facing in Sweden and also globally, define the project scope, prepare project plan, budget, develop pilots, to choose technology and partners for research, production, etc.

The results of the work of Operational Group will be the application to receive rural development funding from The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) programme.

This development is possible thanks to the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas. More information about the fund could be found here.

IRRIOT now is an official member of WIN Water

As of today, IRRIOT is officially a member of WIN Water. WIN Water offers a market place for businesses and innovations within the fields of water. Using open innovation, they speed up the process of getting innovations to the market.

– The timing is perfect for us, we are finishing up our prototype 2.0 and early next year we are going to market. Hopefully, WIN Water will help us move faster, says IRRIOTs CEO Alex Palin.

About WIN Water:

WIN Water have in total around 80 active member organizations. The members of our networks include small innovative companies as well as organizations from public and private sectors, academia and non-profit organizations. WIN Water is a part of Ideon Science Park in Lund, Sweden and acts with an international perspective.

Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal (Castle Garden Ulriksdal) – Interview with CEO, Bosse Rappne

Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal (Castle Garden Ulriksdal), with farmland of about a hectare, was the first farm where IRRIOT AB installed their precision irrigation system. In 2018, we let the system of nine wireless solenoid valves powered by solar panels handle the irrigation, around the clock for five months, with exceptionally good results.

– The system of wireless solenoid valves has worked perfectly, without a single shutdown. It has been a great success. Especially during the hot summer, the system was extremely beneficial from several perspectives, says Bosse Rappne, CEO at Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal, when we asked for a comment and review of the first season of the irrigation system.

– We have been able to program in advance for watering automatically at night and thus saved an estimated 30-35 percent of the total amount of water due to minimal evaporation. At the same time, we have saved hundreds of man-hours and money, says Bosse Rappne, and notes that evenly distributed irrigation, in turn, has generated high-quality products, which meant good sales.

One of the major advantages has been that many plants grown on the fields became big and loose. And if you want to have water in depth, irrigation is required for a couple of hours with water sprinklers. However, a lot of water often ends up on the leaves, which causes the plants to lean. With IRRIOT’s solution, you have been able to irrigate for half an hour at Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal, returned an hour later and thus eliminating lean crops.

The prototype system on Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal consisted of nine irrigation valves programmed in advance. This means that at the field in the Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal it is possible to water from 45 different places, with 2-5 sprinklers connected to every valve.

– As always, when it comes to new technology, you are initially uncertain. But it has been great to be able to log on to your computer, sit home at night and see that everything works. For example, you eliminate the human factor to forget to close the valves. And soon you can check everything from your mobile phone, continues Bosse Rappne, emphasizing flexibility.

– Since valves are solar powered means that there are no electricity cables. If you want to change anything in the irrigation system and have valves in other places, it’s easy because it’s wireless. A simple hose could be put on the ground and connected to the valves for better distribution. The solenoid valves you can put wherever you want. The only need is to have a water source in place.

Anything else worth mentioning?

– We know that monocultures on larger surfaces destroy our soils in the long run. Vegetables and our best soils do not need to be close to the property. They can be located on fields further away since this system works on several kilometers of distance. Also, it is very easy to remove the solenoid valves and quickly store it for winter, says Bosse Rappne and concludes;

– Watering a farm or garden is alpha and omega that requires a lot of knowledge and I would like to have full control myself. Being able to water crops evenly and at any time of the day or night, at several kilometers away, is a good investment. This is definitely the future.

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