Here are presented some of our experiences.
These experiences show how Optiriego Consulting, working together with farmers, has solved specific problems, or how it has improved crop conditions, thanks to the optimization of the irrigation water management:
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Strawberry. Palos de la Frontera (Huelva)
Context: Soils from Huelva Coast are very sandy and they have a low moisture retention capacity. Thanks to our services, a farmer from Palos de la Frontera could understand the beneficialeffect of applying several pulses per day to maximize his production.
Result: The farmer estimates that the yield improvement resulted in more than 20 grams per plant, which could be traduced in an increased income of 1300 €/ha for a single campaign.
Avoiding drainage losses
Olive Grove. Gerena (Sevilla)
Context: Olive farmsoftendo nothave all required water to cover the crop’s needs. In order to optimize water and avoid drainage, it is necessary to choose the suitable moments to irrigate. Thus, irrigation adapts to the phonological phase of the crop.
Result: We have managed to track deep percolation with a farmer from Gerena. In this way, irrigation’s length has been adjusted to maximize water utility, minimizing percolation losses.
Blueberry. Lucena del Pto. (Huelva)
Context: Blueberry is very sensitive to hydric stress as well as to water logging. Over-irrigation is damaging because it causes root asphyxia and rotting: as a consequence, roots remain in the most superficial horizons.
Result: With our services, the farmer could determine the crop water needs in a more precise way, avoiding water excess and root asphyxia. Roots went down, and part of the crop that suffered root asphyxia recovered and is now productive again.
Adjusted irrigation in winter
Strawberry. Comarca del Condado de Huelva (Huelva)
Context: Strawberry needs very small amounts of water in winter. Evapotranspiration within the greenhouse (macro-tunnel) is very low: over-irrigation is widespread during this phase. We have carried out a pilot project to adjust irrigation pulses along this stage in the “Condado de Huelva” region.
Result: Irrigation has been reduced up to 50% during lower demanding phases. Moreover, production not only has been the same as the rest of the farm, but the production set occurred somehow earlier than in other plots from the same farm.
Monitoring fertility parameters
Blueberry. Lucena del Puerto (Huelva)
Context: Monitoring fertility parameteres, such as pH, electric conductivity or nitrates concentration in the soil solution is very important for blueberry crop. However, only fertilizer solution is usually controlled.
Result: Thanks to the use of Fullstop lysimeters and weekly analysis of the main parameters, we succeed in stabilizing these indicators around optimal values (for example, pH around 5-6,5). This control benefited crop production.