AgWet technology pushes precision agriculture adoption
Smartphones, apps and sensors are part of everyday life but have been slow to address the needs of peanut and cotton growers. Research demonstrates that soil moisture sensors and computer models aide irrigation scheduling, but their adoption rate is low compared to other methods such as visible crop stress. Since 2017, the University of Georgia Ag Water Efficiency Team (AgWet) project has addressed two primary objectives: train county Extension agents on advanced irrigation scheduling tools; and have the trained agents transfer that knowledge to growers.
It appears to be working. Soil moisture sensor vendors operating in Georgia reported a substantial uptick in system sales following the start of the AgWet project, with one vendor experiencing a 536% increase in sales and another seeing a 370% increase. At last count there were also nearly 3,000 downloads of SmartIrrigation apps.
Recent data collected for peanut crops showed a total of 4,555 acres in the program with 42 growers and an estimated water savings of 93 cubic feet per second flow rate as a result of using these irrigation scheduling technologies.
Link to full statement on website: https://secure.caes.uga.edu/impactstat