Pilot Soil Moisture Management Dutch Agriculture and Open Horticulture 2021
March 1st - The Netherlands
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In March 2021 we are starting our soil moisture management pilot which starts during the next agricultural cycle in which we will demonstrate the technology that we have developed and test it with a group of 45 Dutch farmers.
Goal of the pilot is to introduce our technology to the Dutch Agricultural sector and in order to apply the most advanced academic crop- and soil models in the field
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Background
The majority (more than 95%) of Dutch farmers irrigate their crops based on experience and intuition instead of in a data-driven manner. This leads to unnecessary over- and underirrigation which results in productivity loss and in water usage which is too high. To counter this succesfully requires an approach that combines use of technology (soil moisture sensors) and crop- and soil models.

The majority (more than 95%) of farmers in Europe irrigate crops through a non-data driven matter. This leads to unnecessary under- and over-irrigation, which results in loss of productivity and water consumption that is unnecessarily high. To counter this successfully, an approach is needed that combines the use of technology (soil moisture sensors) and the latest knowledge regarding crop and soil models. Current sensors (technology) that are offered in the market often only indicate a measurement value that represents soil moisture. The measured value has a different meaning for, for example, a clay soil than for a sandy soil. In addition, a moisture value has different implications for different types of crops and their respective growth phase. Current solutions leave it up to farmers to translate this measurement value into an irrigation decision. Farmers often do not have enough knowledge to make this translation successfully. This lack of knowledge means that current technological solutions in the market cannot be successfully deployed and their adoption remains low.In collaboration with Wageningen University & Research, a leading Dutch agricultural academic institute, we have equipped state of the art technology with the most advanced crop and soil models to provide farmers worldwide with irrigation advice that actually enables farmers to increase productivity and to realize significant water savings. This solution will be tested on a large scale during a pilot with Dutch farmers in 2021 and a second pilot is being prepared for Ukraine.
Target Group Pilot 2021
The direct target audience for the pilot in March 2021 consists of 45 Dutch MKB farmers and the proeftuin "Boerderij van de Toekomst" in Lelystad. For each participants we will install at least 2 sensors. Boerderij van de Toekomst in Lelystad will receive 5 sensoren. The selection of agricultural farmers will be based on soil type (pririoty is on farmers with sand soil), high yielding crop types (e.g. potatos and onions) and acreage (>30 ha). For open horticulture we focus on "hard fruit", e.g. apples and pears. In addition to our direct target group we will also involve and monitor farmers who are located right next to the farms in our direct target group. We call this the "comparison group". These farmers will have similar characteristics as our direct target audience, e.g. the same weather conditions, the same crop types and the same soil. The difference is however that the comparison group will not have our technology installed and will continue irrigation as usual; e.g. based on their traditional methods. The goal of this exercise is to compare the results of both irrigation approaches and to establish the quantitative benefits of fact-based irrigation with our technology.
Join our pilot
Interested in joining our pilot on March 21st 2021?
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