The EU-funded FIGARO precision project has designed DDS, -Decision Supporting System to improve irrigation management. They have been invited to present the precision irrigation system at a special workshop on coping with climate change and water scarcity at the Expo Milano 2015.
Dr. Adriano Battilani, senior researcher at the Canale Emiliano Romagnolo (CER) research institute in Bologna, Italy and a FIGARO partner, will make a presentation on “How to Integrate Knowledge to Improve Water Productivity in Agriculture” at the Agri-Water Workshop to be held on June 17 at the EXPO 2015 – EU Pavilion. The workshop will deal with methods to cope with climate change and water scarcity in Africa and Europe by improving monitoring and water-use efficiency in agriculture.
“The workshop is a great opportunity for FIGARO to present the progress we have made so far and show how we can help fight water scarcity,” said Battilani. “By offering a crop-oriented management tool, FIGARO optimizes irrigation and fertilizer dosing, significantly reducing the use of fresh water.”
The FIGARO (Flexible and Precise Irrigation Platform to Improve Farm Scale Water Productivity) platform acts as an SAAS platform. It periodically runs leading and approved crop models to provide farmers with on-line recommendations regarding the best irrigation and fertilization schedules for their farms. Data is provided for specific crops and soils, water and climate conditions.
In order to make the recommendations precise, the FIGARO platform is connected to actual sensors, and collects environmental and crop-growth data from a wide variety of in-field and remote sensors and data sources including soil moisture, water meters, satellite images and weather stations. The data are fed automatically or manually into the DSS platform models and supply the crop module operating on real-time data.
Nine European countries have field tested the FIGARO system, all with promising results.