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Smart irrigation through observation and prediction

Research Theme
Agriculture, Food and Environment
Status
Completed
Lead Researcher
Dr. Willemijn Appels
Duration of Project
2020-2021
Funders
Smart Agriculture and Food Innovation Program
Areas of Expertise
Irrigation Science
Project Description

Increasing water use efficiency through site-specific irrigation management is an important tool in ongoing regional development of high-value agricultural products in Southern Alberta. Variable Rate Irrigation is an important technology in achieving this, but the uptake of said technology is low and its use suboptimal. In this project we propose to integrate various types of sensors to develop a model-based, closed-loop irrigation system that is based on the spatial distribution of soil moisture and crop water availability. We will include microwave radiometers for moisture mapping, point sensors, and simulation models to automatically create maps of irrigation amounts through data fusion. This would be a big step forward in reaching the full potential of VRI technology.​