A decision support tool for irrigation management of your almonds orchards.

Crop modellingAlmondsIrrigation management

Description

Optimal irrigation of fruit and nut trees is essential to maximize yield and optimize fruit quality. To apply the optimal irrigation, growers must consider multiple factors related to the crop, soil, irrigation system, production objective, and weather forecasts. Growers need to make decisions every week for multiple fields with different characteristics, which makes irrigation management is extremely complex and time-consuming. The decision-making process can be facilitated by using the Vintel Orchards® mobile application developed by itk. Vintel Orchards® is an application enabling growers to easily enter their field characteristics, compare their irrigation practices to optimal irrigation and receive alerts when the fields are not optimally irrigated.


Progress

80

Testing phase by growers underway

Objectives

The main objectives of this project are to develop user-friendly mobile applications for scheduling irrigation for multiple crops based on water demand and weather forecasts, to facilitate deficit irrigation practices in orchards, and provide recommendations for optimal irrigation


Development of a DST for growers

to facilitate irrigation scheduling across multiple fields

Accurate calculation of irrigation requirements

to maximize crop yield without wasting water

Use deficit irrigation practices

to save water and money

Verify your decisions

by comparing your irrigation practices with optimal irrigation and receive alerts when a field has not received optimal irrigation


Crop characteristics

Enter your almond variety and year of plantation.


Soil & Irrigation

Enter your soil parameters and irrigation system information.


Phenology

Customize the phenology, including full bloom, leafing, hull split, harvest, and leaf fall.


Irrigation scheduling

Select when you want to start your irrigation schedule.


Irrigation scheduling

Select when you want to start your irrigation schedule.

Weekly recommendations

Based on this information the application provides optimal weekly irrigation recommendations based on the grower’s irrigation strategy, taking into account the crop water demand based on the forecast for the coming week. The user will receive the following information.

Weather Data

Easy access to weather data. As soon as the field is geolocated in the app, weather data are available for the selected location. The user can view seasonal trends and one week of weather forecasts for potential evapotranspiration, maximum, minimum and mean temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, and solar radiation.

Historical data

Every week for the recommended optimal irrigation and the grower’s irrigation to identify potential deficiencies.

Cumulative data

Throughout the season, to get an overview of the performance of the irrigation season.

Observations and measurements

Verification of the water status of the trees. The user can add measurements of the midday stem water potential to the app. To help the user interpret these measurements, the values will be presented in a graph with different water stress thresholds. Also, the user can add other observations in the form of comments to track all the relevant events in a given field.

Future improvements

The application will be improved based on grower’s requirements that could be:


Improve irrigation management

by taking into account canopy variability in the orchard using satellite images

Implement field information

from flow meters: soil moisture sensors and pressure chamber

Manage the irrigation of other crops

Nitrogen Management

Partners

The application was developed by itk in collaboration with irrigation experts from UC Davis in California. The project was partially funded by the BPI project.

You want more information about Vintel Orchards® ?