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Smart Irrigation Management Saves Water and Boosts Plant Health

To make water usage in agriculture more sustainable, SoilSense has developed a soil sensor system that provides real-time insights on how to manage irrigation intelligently across all crops.

 Water scarcity is an increasing problem on every continent. By 2025 more than half of the global population may be residing in water-scarce regions. Agriculture is the largest consumer of water globally, accounting for 72% of freshwater used.

This calls for action to optimize our irrigation systems so water is used more intelligently. While over-irrigation leads to loss of nutrients and can cause root rot, water deficit leads to reduced yield potential and plant stress, increasing the impact of diseases.

Smart irrigation management

SoilSense has developed a smart sensor system that allows for digital monitoring of irrigation across all crops and all soil types. This contributes to UN Goals: Zero hunger (2), Clean water (6), and Responsible consumption and production (12).

The SoilSense system uses scientifically validated sensors to measure the soil’s water content near the plant’s roots with high accuracy. An algorithm converts the data to reveal ‘plant-available-water’ – how much water is available to the plant at any given time.

These insights are sent to the farmers or irrigation managers on their computer or mobile device and are visualized in a way that is easy to understand and act upon. In cases of over-irrigation or water deficit, the farmers are alerted directly on any devices selected.

SoilSense sensors are developed to work in all soil types and the intelligent platform automatically sets the correct wilting point and watering limits of the specific crop. This makes it easy to install and move sensors as needed.

SoilSense is used today by a wide range of customers such as orchard managers, greenhouse growers, open-field crop farmers, and municipal auspices as well as park and garden managers. The product is currently in use in a wide range of environments from cold Scandinavia to the Peruvian desert.

Saving water resources and increasing yield

Results from SoilSense’s customers in Denmark show an increase in yield of 20-25% in potatoes as a result of optimized irrigation. Scientific studies show that targeted watering based on sensor data can reduce water consumption by up to 45-50 % for fruit and vegetables (source: EPRS – European Parliamentary Research Service).

Targeted watering based on sensor data can reduce water consumption by up to 45-50%