The primary objective of irrigation scheduling (i.e., when to irrigate and how much water to apply) is to maximise plant growth, crop quality and crop yield. Advanced irrigation scheduling is a method of analysing real-time data to optimise irrigation and nutrient application decisions. Maintaining optimal soil moisture and nutrients throughout the growing season is critical to crop yield. This can only be achieved if irrigation management decisions integrate all variables in the irrigation system. These variables include factors such as rooting depth, root zone health, available soil moisture, fertilizing strategy, crop growth, crop health, irrigation system efficiency and weather conditions.
Omnia is proud to offer an irrigation scheduling solution that will enable farmers to make informed decisions when it comes to when and how much water to apply to their crops. The OMNIPIVOT™ system was developed for a vast range of crops grown specifically under centre pivot irrigation systems. This system can be installed on any pivot make or model and operates independently from the manufacturers software. The only prerequisite is access to a reliable cell phone network.
Irrigation recommendations are published on a customised web-based dashboard easily accessible from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. The dashboard’s graphical interface is easy to use and provides additional information such as the geographical position of each centre pivot, as well as it’s speed, water application rate and direction of travel. It also shows the cumulative amount of water applied against the recommendation and can also be filtered for specific irrigation cycles or crop growth stages.
The OMNIPIVOT™ system also includes an early warning function that gives farmers real-time warnings in case of irrigation system irregularities or failures. These warnings are sent via standard SMS communication protocols. The early warning systems can be customized according to the farmer’s specific needs.
All the data captured by sensor nodes during the growing season is stored on a secure Omnia server. This data can be accessed for benchmarking, as well as to generate numerous irrigation reports, for example total amount of water irrigated (spatial and temporal) and water use efficiency (WUE).
The sensor network will be unique to each farm since the specific layout will be determined by the number of pivots and the number of Gateway Nodes and/or Rain Nodes that might be required. The cost for the sensor network (hardware) is a once-off fee and clients will be invoiced once installation is completed. All sensor nodes and components have a limited three-month warranty after which the client will be responsible for maintenance costs and/or replacement. In addition to the sensor network, the client will be invoiced for a subscription fee per hectare per crop season for the solution itself. This fee includes the following services: