The cooperative Coopeumo has been founded 50 years ago, they have 350 members and 2500 hectares out of which the mostly planting corn, wheat, fruits and vegetables. They use drip irrigation to water plums Allan and cherries. For cherries, for example, the right irrigation is crucial, because trees require different amount of water in different growth stages.
Lack of water
Their area has been suffering of drought in the last couple of years. Farmers in Chile are allocated a limited amount of water from the government. They are located at the end of the Cachapoal channel, so lots of water is lost before it gets to them. And therefor it is the most threatened area by droughts. And they can expect to have more drought in the future. Not having water means our production decreases.
Very precise amount of water
‚‚The amount of water needs to be very precise, we need to give the plant enough water, so the fruits can grow. The post harvest period starts, when we start to reduce the frequency of the irrigation. So we have to make sure that the tree doesn’t get sprouting again and prevent the tree from the stress.’’ Paula, agronomist.
Why weather station
‚‚The weather forecast is not reliable anymore, because it predicts 20 mm rain at the weekend and eventually there is no rain at all. And therefore it is very important to have these weather stations to rely on real time data from the station every day.’’ Jose Tabar, agronomist.
‚‚We did not really know when the plant needed the irrigation. If the soil was too dry or not. With CleverFarm service, we keep the soil moisture in the recommended thresholds. We did not have a good experience with other weather stations and forms of measurements, because they were not precise and did not provided sufficient customer support. And also, we had to do some activities manually, like digging the soil profile to decide on the right irrigation management. It took us a lots of time and the interpretation was not clear. On contrary, with CleverFarm, the measurements today are objective, clear and immediately available. I enter the app in the PC or the phone and I immediately know weather condition and soil moisture on the farm.’’ Paula, agronomist.
‚‚When they offered me the service, I was skeptical, I did not see the benefits for me, but today, it is very important instrument for my daily work and I think all farmers should use it. Because CleverFarm has been a key tool to optimize the water usage and now we know exactly when we should irrigate.’’ Jose Tabar, agronomist.
‚‚In the hot days, we receive notification that we should irrigate more frequently. It doesn’t need to be plugged in electricity since it is powered by the battery, it allows us to cover area further from the office. We can cover and monitor more places and remote areas with difficult access.’’
‚‚To optimize the labour, time and water usage and to produce fruits the highest quality that can be exported to the whole world. My fruits have been growing very well and the harvest was excellent.’’ Jose Tabar, agronomist.