Center pivot irrigation is a widely adopted agricultural method that employs a rotating arm with nozzles to distribute water over crops. To optimize water usage and enhance efficiency, an IoT-based variable rate irrigation system has been developed. This system integrates sensors, satellites, and weather data to generate a crop health model. The model's prescription is sent to the center pivot, which segments the field into zones and controls irrigation using solenoid valves on each nozzle.
Crop Health Model Generation:
The variable rate irrigation system collects data from sensors dispersed throughout the field, measuring soil moisture, temperature, humidity, and nutrient levels. Satellite imagery and weather data are incorporated to provide a comprehensive understanding of the field's condition. Advanced algorithms process this data to generate a crop health model, representing the spatial distribution of crop requirements.
Based on the crop health model, the system generates a prescription specifying the optimal irrigation rate for each field zone. Parameters such as crop type, growth stage, soil characteristics, and weather conditions are considered. By analyzing these variables, the system determines precise irrigation levels required for optimal crop health and growth.
Segmentation of the Field:
The field is segmented into zones based on determined irrigation requirements. The center pivot system comprises multiple segments, each equipped with a solenoid valve regulating water flow to the corresponding nozzle. These segments offer independent adjustment, enabling precise water distribution throughout the field.
Communication and Control:
A base station serves as the central control unit, communicating wirelessly with each center pivot nozzle. It provides irrigation control instructions based on the generated prescription. The base station sends signals to the solenoid valves, activating or deactivating them as needed to regulate water supply to the respective nozzles.
Water and Cost Optimization:
Variable rate irrigation helps farmers avoid excessive water usage, preventing water waste and nutrient leaching. The system ensures water is delivered where and when needed, optimizing water usage and reducing fertilizer requirements. This leads to significant water and fertilizer cost savings while maintaining or improving crop yields.
The variable rate irrigation system offers environmental advantages by conserving water in regions prone to scarcity. It also mitigates the risk of nutrient runoff, reducing water pollution. Additionally, the system promotes sustainable farming practices, enhancing soil health and biodiversity by optimizing crop health and minimizing fertilizer use.
The IoT-based variable rate irrigation system for center pivot agriculture is a technologically advanced and environmentally friendly solution. By generating a crop health model and prescription, the system enables precise irrigation control. Field segmentation and individualized control facilitate efficient water usage and cost savings. This technology empowers farmers to conserve water, reduce fertilizer costs, and contribute to environmental sustainability in agriculture.