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 New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

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: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>