When to irrigate crops
With RMA irrigation management, sensors measure the amount of soil moisture in the different layers of the soil. The purpose of this is to irrigate at the right time with the right amount of water, in order to match the irrigation to the crop needs. Growers receive the measured data, which are often complex, converted into comprehensible advice, in a way that works for them. This can be done, for example, via an app on a mobile phone.
Measuring soil moisture
Irrigation management starts with an inventory of the fields and the locations. While doing so, RMA is looking for the right place to measure the soil moisture and install the soil moisture sensor. Which location provides the best measuring results, which are representative for the entire field?
The next step is to set up the system. The amount of moisture that the soil can hold depends on several factors. This means that RMA sets characteristics of the field and the crop in a personal irrigation dashboard. For example soil type and the expected root depth. The organic matter content and the infiltration depth are also taken into account.
Onset of drought stress
During the season, RMA adjusts the dashboard more and more precisely. The maximum amount of soil moisture (field capacity) is often quickly clear, as it can spotted easily from the data. Determining the moment when the crop runs out of readily available water requires more knowledge and insight. By careful investigation and by following the data from the beginning of the growing season, RMA can determine the correct limits. The lower limit should be clear quickly, as this indicates where irrigation should begin.
Weather station measures crop evapotranspiration
In addition to the soil moisture sensor, RMA can also install a weather station to measure current data on crop evapotranspiration and precipitation. This gives an even more complete picture of how much water the crop can use.
The readings from the soil moisture sensor and the weather station are sent every 30 minutes via 4G or a LoRa connection to a secure online environment in the Cloud of RMA. The RMA dashboard then converts the data into user-friendly irrigation advice. The grower can view this advice 24 hours a day via a computer, tablet or smartphone app. RMA ensures that growers can easily work with this.
Agronomy support to irrigate
To bring the collected data into practice in the proper way, RMA advices from the very beginning. The combination of our modern sensors and user-friendly dashboard with personal guidance completely supports growers. Growers can count on RMA to teach them how the soil works, what the crop needs, how evapotranspiration works and why the sensor produces certain data. RMA ensures that in the course of the growing season it becomes increasingly clear how the soil and the crop behave with a certain moisture content or after rainfall. This leads to a more accurate planning of the irrigation.