Customer case study

How water-stress data increased per-acre revenue by $700

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The usual method to determine water status lack accuracy and result in over or under-irrigation and lowered productivity. In contrast, direct measurements of plant water status to irrigate often increase field productivity dramatically.

Our partner Olivos Riego, based in Chile, undertook a multi-year study in a prune orchard to determine the effect of improved irrigation through more accurate water status data. From 2009–2017, the crop was irrigated according to evapotranspiration data. From 2018 onwards, the crop was irrigated according to accurate water-stress data, taken near-daily by employees with the Scholander pressure chamber.

The results were astounding. By irrigating according to accurate water-stress data, Olivos saw many benefits:

1.

Increased revenue per acre by $734.

2.

Increased overall yield by 15%.

3.

Dramatically decreased year-to-year yield variability.

4.

Eliminated fruit drop losses, from 30% to <1%.

5.

Decreased need for propane drying by 17%.

6.

Compared to ET, decreased irrigation by 40%.

Unfortunately, daily manual measurements with the Scholander chamber are too expensive and time-consuming for most growers. The measurements require dedicated staff to constantly drive around the field during the hottest part of the day, take measurements, tabulate them, then ensure the data is available for decision-making.

Evapotranspiration (ET) generally over-estimates the crop’s need for irrigation and results in over-irrigation.

Manual use of the pressure chamber.

Here’s the good news: the FloraPulse system provides the same data and benefits as the Scholander pressure chamber, without the hassle. Install the system in 30 minutes, and receive the best irrigation advice every day on your phone. How does an extra $700 per acre sound? You won’t know until you try it out for yourself!