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Digital agriculture to improve the health of mandarin cultivation

Success stories
Projects/ Digital agriculture to improve the health of mandarin cultivation
digital agriculture
Cultura del agua - AZUD

The company

This farm is located in Castellón, in the east of Spain, with an area of 20 hectares dedicated to the cultivation of mandarins in an intensive framework with the Orri variety.

In this success story, our client was an agronomic advisor who worked on several citrus producer farms in the area.

sondas suelo y sondas meteo agricultura

The challenge

The farm in particular had root asphyxiation problems in the trees due to deep waterlogging during the spring-summer seasons, which negatively affected the health of the crops, especially the Orri variety mandarins.

The main challenge was to solve the problem of root suffocation caused by traditional and excessive irrigation, as well as the clay soil of the farm that was close to a seasonal watercourse.

The symptoms observed in the trees, such as small leaves, yellowing and defoliation, indicated the need to restore the health of the plantation.

The solution

The solution consisted of improving irrigation practice to solve these problems and improve crop health, through the implementation of advanced technology.

A monitoring station equipped with a temperature sensor, ambient humidity and a rain gauge was used to monitor thermal evolution and precipitation in an ultra-localized manner.

Additionally, a 90 cm long capacitive moisture probe was installed to monitor volumetric soil moisture along the profile. This probe also provided information on soil electrical conductivity and temperature at different depths.

The approach used by the technicians consisted of adjusting the irrigation interval and time according to the behavior of the water in the 90 cm soil profile, where the roots of the mandarin trees were located. In addition, the pre-fertilizer, fertilizer and post-fertilizer times were adjusted using information on the electrical conductivity of the soil, maintaining optimal values for the health of the crop.

Soil temperature and meteorological data were also used to determine the most appropriate time to start watering and fertilizing, responding to the plant’s needs in real time.

Benefits of the solution

The implementation of this efficient irrigation solution through digital management provided a series of sustainable benefits within one year:

  • Disappearance of cryptogamic diseases and symptoms of root asphyxiation, avoiding deep percolation and improving crop health.
  • Reduction in consumption of irrigation water, diesel (energy) and fertilizers. The producer went from watering 6 days a week for 2 hours to watering 4 days a week for 1 hour, optimizing the use of resources.
  • Improvement in the use of nutrients, avoiding leaching and ion blockages, which contributed to better development of the trees and greater production and caliber of mandarins.
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