The intensive citrus fruits in the province of Almería rely on Plantae technology to control irrigation and salinity. Also the intensive orange trees of Valencia.
Importance of irrigation control in intensive citrus
We are in Ballabona with the client Lemon King , studying the terrain, the type of crop and the climate of an intensive citrus farm, specifically lemon trees. The philosophy of the plantation is sustainability and organic farming.
- The terrain turns out to be sandy loam
- The clima es templado y húmedo a excepción de los meses de julio y agosto que tienen temperaturas un poco más elevadas.
- The need for irrigation is essential in the fruit set.
- The plantation has drip irrigation anchored to the ground and with drippers at a distance of one meter from the trunk of the tree to cover the entire root system.
- We study the depth of the wet bulb that causes the drip irrigation superficial.
- To control this depth, humidity sensors are placed at different depths of 20, 40 and 60 centimeters. At another point of 25 and 30 centimeters from the dropper, all with the aim of assessing how far the humidity reaches. In this way we check if the wet bulb covers the entire root system of the lemon tree so that it receives just the water it needs.
Advantages of citrus irrigation control
We are going to develop the advantages offered by humidity control in the intensive crops of this lemon plantation.
- Ahorrar agua y energía: vamos a dar a la plantación el agua que necesita.
- Disminuye la evaporación: regando cuando los indicadores de los sensores nos indiquen la necesidad de humedad. Especialmente importante en una zona cálida cómo es la de Almería.
- It prevents the accumulation of salts around the wet bulb, which affects the absorption of the root system.
- There is no salt crust on the surface . This makes the soil more easily oxygenated with the action of the wind and highly benefits the health of citrus fruits.
- In addition, we avoid the accumulation of salts in the long-term soil, always very detrimental to the plantation.
Measurement of conductivity and subsoil temperature in intensive citrus
One of the problems that appear in intensive plantations is salinity due to the density of trees per hectare. This affects the need for irrigation and, at the same time, increases evaporation. If the excessive accumulation of salts is not controlled it can be a problem for the tree, because the salts do not evaporate.
Por esta razón además de controlar la humedad con los sensores agrícolas Plantae, debemos medir la tendencia conductiva del suelo para saber en cada momento si necesitamos modificar el riego o incluso hacer un lavado de sales.
We also measure the soil temperature with sensors and whether excessive heating damages the root system.
All these parameters can be controlled by the farmer in real time from the tablet or mobile.
Measurements tell you about changes to your watering schedule and allow you to adjust them to the tree's needs.
Ecological and sustainable intensive agriculture.
The company has as its motto the (3R):
- Reduce costs by saving water and energy.
- Recycle fruit not valid for consumption, stubble and pruning.
- Reuse everything recycled while making the most of the product.
With the harvest, juices, oils, pulps are made and the peel is even used for cosmetics and pharmacy.
It is also activating the flora and fauna of the area to achieve biodiversity and promote pollination with insects. They collect rainwater in rafts and thus achieve circular agriculture.
All this with the use of renewable energies and humidity sensors make citrus production improve the environment and promote sustainable agriculture.
Intensive orange trees in Valencia with Plantae technology
We went to control an intensive orange plantation in the province of Valencia.
Irrigation control in a young plantation is essential to strengthen its growth.
- Adjust the wet bulb to the root system. It is very beneficial to adapt the irrigation to the wet bulb. As the tree grows, its roots also increase and the dropper has to be moved and expanded to cover the entire root zone.
- Control the need of the tree. Avoiding water stress makes the orange tree grow healthy.
- Saving both water and energy by contributing to circular agriculture.
- In addition, how we can observe the evaporation with nets is protected and at the same time we avoid the growth of weeds that would remove organic matter from the soil to the detriment of the tree.
- To control the amount of rainwater a meteorological station is placed. We also count the hours of hot and cold, the relative humidity and the ambient temperature.
All this wirelessly and in real time.