SM Geodim 

SMART agriculture in times of coronavirus

Monday, May 4, 2020

When in 2019, the Frutínter chair at the Polytechnic University of Valencia started a pilot experience to implement the SMART methodology in citrus and thus help the sector face a crisis that has carried more than 40,000 ha in recent years, little could think that this methodology was also a tool in times of coronavirus.

Far from jumping on the bandwagon, the Frutínter Chair made an exhaustive review of existing technologies, with a clear objective, to use innovative technologies, but in an operational context. It was not a matter of making an innovative pilot project from a scientific point of view, but of solving a real problem, in a real context and at costs that the citrus sector could bear. In this scenario, it was chosen to implement the SMART methodology.

SMART Agriculture is a methodology, within the scope of Precision Agriculture, Digital Agriculture or Agriculture 4.0, that through the integration of field sensors and remote sensors (especially spatial remote sensing) characterizes the spatial and temporal variability existing in the farms with the objective of improving the agronomic information with which management decisions are made (irrigation, fertilization ...).

The results of the 2019 campaign have been spectacular. It has been possible to improve the calibre of the fruit, improving, in turn, the production in 8,000 Kg / ha and all this, with a saving of 60% of Nitrate and a management of irrigation that avoids drainage (which produces a saving of water up to 40-50%). Excellent post-harvest results must be added to the savings in inputs and the improvement in production, which translate into a balanced quality fruit, but also environmental ones, since by avoiding drainage and washing of Nitrates we avoid contamination of the masses groundwater. Given the created expectation, in early March, the Polytechnic University of Valencia, through the Frutínter chair, and the companies Geodim and Verde Smart that have participated in the development and implementation of the project, have carried out a training day and transference knowledge to Villarreal citrus sector, with an expectant reception given the presented results by the technicians of the Frutínter citrus company.

Today, when around the world, the main measure against the coronavirus is the home confinement and agriculture is once again recognized for what it is, a basic and essential sector that guarantees the food supply to the population, being able to count on tools that continue to capture constant and accurate data allowing us to continue the generation of the information necessary to improve decision-making.

 

 

Click on the image to see the press release of UPV

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