Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Weather watching water system gives large water & fertilizer savings for growers

19.07.2006
Researchers at the University of Warwick have developed an irrigation system for growers that not only saves water and fertilizer it even automatically reads and responds to five day weather forecasts to decide whether it is going to water your plants or not. Demonstrations of this new research will be presented at a special "Water Day" for commercial growers on 20th July at the University of Warwick's Wellesbourne campus.

Researchers at the University of Warwick's plant research arm Warwick HRI are examining ways to respond to the fact that the UK is becoming an increasing water scarce country - particularly in the south and east. They are looking at the basic engineering behind water and fertilizer saving irrigation technique use in Southern Europe called fertigation and found not only could they use it to address UK problems they could cleverly automate the technique to such a degree that they could build a system that could even follow advance weather reports and make its own decisions on whether your plants needed watering based on commercial 5 day weather reports.

In Southern Europe growers have long conserved water and fertilizer supplies by a technique called fertigation - in its most basic form this consists of little more than hoses delivering water and fertilizer to plants via a series of holes in the pipe. The whole process was governed by little more than a tap and a farm hand on a moped regularly checking the pipes. The Warwick technique called "Dynamic Fertigation" uses an array of moisture sensors in the soil which send data to a control system that hooked up to a laptop by mobile phone technology. The control system switches on the water when the soil dries below a site specific threshold. Using models of crop growth the system can predict when the crop needs nutrients and these are applied with the water. So far so good, but what if it rains? This system can take in and act on data from 5 day advance weather reports preventing the application of precious fertilizer getting washed away by a heavy rain fall into rivers and water courses. This new high tech method of fertigation will obviously be of considerable interest not just in the UK but in regions of the world already using more primitive fertigation methods.

Warwick HRI researchers are running six field experiments in the UK at Wellesbourne in Warwickshire with supporting field experiments in Lincolnshire, UK and Cartagena in Spain. Early results show 33 % saving in fertilizer for lettuce and 50% for runner beans. Targeting water and fertilizer applications to when and where they are needed saves water and alos prevents contamination of water ways.

The research will be presented to growers at a special "Water Day" on Thursday 20th July 2006 at Warwick HRI's Wellesbourne site. The Water Day will present a range of latest research on water saving techniques for growers.

Peter Dunn | alfa
Further information:
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk
http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/newsandevents/pressreleases/NE1000000214864/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

nachricht New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>