Our humidity sensors become international, they conquered the south of Portugal and now the north of Algeria in Benchicao (Médéa) .
Sensors in Algeria
The entrance to this country has been thanks to the involvement and collaboration of the agronomist Axel Torrejón , of Chilean origin but living in Cáceres, and a great expert in woody crops, especially cherry. Together with the Plantae engineers, the installation plan was drawn up on a 600-hectare estate of vineyards, plum, cherry and apple trees.
The farm is located near the city of Benchicao in the province of Médéa .
- 40 sensors have been placed measuring at two depths, at 20 cm and 50 cm in vineyards and fruit trees.
- These farms are advised by professional technicians from different countries: France, Algeria and Spain, although the installation carried out, references and technical study came from the hand of Axel Torrejón.
The climate in northern Algeria makes it necessary to install sensors
The northern part of Algeria in which we work has a typical Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
The need for controlled irrigation in the summer is basic for quality control, product quantity, water saving and energy saving.
The salinity problem is also important because it is a coastal area.
Sensor control indicates in real time the humidity of the crop and this means that we can control irrigation and this has a positive impact on three fundamental factors:
- Water stress is avoided.
- It considerably reduces the accumulation of salts.
- Water and energy are saved.
Algerian agriculture needs a technological boost to expand its commercialization. The technology Plantae applied to the control of humidity, temperature, conductivity and salinity is simple and easy to apply for the farmer. We want to bring a bit of technology to the vineyards with the Médéa designation of origin and to the fruit trees in the area.
Influence of sensors on water stress
As irrigation is more controlled and continuous, it ensures that the plant receives the water it needs at all times.
In this way we avoid water stress, that is, the imbalance between the water that the plant needs and that which is provided to it. In intensive fruit plantations like this one, control is essential to regulate the growth process of the plant and the time of fruit formation.
Sensor control favors root development, plant growth and quality of the fruit .
In hot areas it is especially important to control humidity so that the plant does not suffer water stress because evaporation and perspiration, which is the water lost by the leaf within its normal biological process, accelerates with heat.
Influence of sensors on salinity
The accumulation of salts is due to the evaporation of water in times of high heat. The salts do not evaporate and accumulate around the wet bulb.
The concentration increases if irrigation is not controlled and the irrigation interval is very far apart and there is excess evaporation due to the heat.
This forces intense washing that causes the salts to accumulate in deeper areas and depending on the type of terrain it can generate an accumulation problem that damages the crop.
The ideal is a control that allows the plant to have the necessary humidity and less evaporation occurs.
The type of terrain must also be taken into account. In the stone fruit the frank lands are the ideals.
En la zona de Médéa los terrenos son arcillosos-limosos-arenosos que acumulan fácilmente las sales si no se riega adecuadamente. Esto hace que se filtren menos con los lavados. A media que aumenta la salinidad la absorción del agua por la planta es menor.
If the irrigation is adequate in quantity and periodicity, the salts are absorbed by the plant. Washing is less necessary and the land has a much higher fertility for much longer, because excess salinity is not produced.
Fruit trees and vineyards are sensitive to saline stress. Your control is very important.
We will soon dedicate an article to salinity, its effects and how to avoid it. We have already commented on the correct irrigation of vineyards .