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Using Weather Stations to Improve Irrigation Scheduling

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Using Weather Stations to Improve Irrigation Scheduling

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  1. Smart Wireless Solution Using Weather Stations to Improve Irrigation Scheduling Ali Mah’d Al Shrouf Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority UAE

  2. Agriculture, Climate & Water

  3. WHY WEATHER STATIONS? • To get real-time micro-climatic information • To compute Evapotranspiration • To use the same data for disease models • To monitor soil moisture • To correlate irrigation with ETo, soil moisture, soil salinity, precipitatin, ground water level, etc. - TO UNDERSTAND WHAT‘S GOING ON - AND TAKE BETTER IRRIGATION DECISIONS!

  4. Disease Solutions • provides the grower with advice via computer regarding the optimum moment at which to use fungicides and which type of fungicide to use.

  5. Irrigation Solution • The right volume at the right moment. determine the optimum time for irrigation. • This prevents both damage due to draught stress and excessive watering.

  6. Insect Solution • provides a grower with advice via his computer regarding the insect's current development stage. This allows the correct moment and the correct type of insecticide to be determined.

  7. Fertilizer Solution • Advises how much and at which point to apply fertilizer.

  8. ADFCA Agri-Metrological Station Objectives: effectiveness evaluation for using the automatic weather station in Irrigation calculation

  9. Weather Stations for Irrigation Improvements • What is todays most important rule for irrigators? • THE RULE OF THUMB • Why do farmers irrigate the way they irrigate? • „because it looks dry“ • „because that‘s how I always did it“ • „because it feels right“ irrigation decision is pure guesswork

  10. Precision Irrigation Irrigation Improvements • Just about all farmers over-irrigate - with rather detrimental consequences: • Wash out of nutrients = increased need of fertilizers • Too much water in the soil > too little oxygen! This • largely affects the plants „metabolism“, reduces growth, • harms micro-organisms, reduces yield. • Pollution of ground- and surface water (nitrates!!) • Unnecessary wear and maintenance of equipment • Waste of energy (electricity, fuel) to run the pumps

  11. 8 mm/day 80 mm Temporary slow down of daily crop water use and growth caused by over irrigation. 10 days Irrigation 15 mm/day 45 mm 3 days Irrigation

  12. Precision Irrigation Irrigation Improvements Some farmers under-irrigate - with consequences as fatal: • The plant suffers excessive dry stress = reduced yield, lesser quality crops • Water and fertilizers do not reach the active root zone = reduced yields, lesser quality crops • Water and fertilizers that do NOT reach the active • rootzoneare 100% lost for this crop! And so is the • energy invested for their application!

  13. An Automatic Weather station - Sensor Requirements • at least the sensors required by the ETo Formula according to Penman-Monteith is needed.

  14. A Weather Station‘s Sensors • Data collection - the Sensors (evaluation criteria) • Sufficient Accuracy • Robust • Operate in wide temperature range • Low Power Consumption • Little drift over time • Simple Installation, low maintenance

  15. Data Collection: GPRS GSM Provider Internet Measure once per minute, transmit averages every 15 minutes

  16. Weather Stations for Irrigation Improvements • Which quality / accuracy is required? • Sufficient accuracy for the task! • Low Drift at least within the first five years • Low maintenance requirements • Remote Configuration • Low Power Consumption

  17. Local Quality Control and Assurance

  18. Water - the resource of the future • Monitoring needs in the cycle of water • Precipitation • Quantity and quality of irrigation water • Irrigating • Evapotranspiration • Soil moisture (at various levels) • Wind speed and direction

  19. QA/QC Checks • Range • within a reasonable range • Step • maximum allowable change • Persistence • minimum allowable change • Like Sensor • similar value to similar sensors • Spatial • similar value to neighboring stations (parameter dependent)

  20. Range Checks • Three range checks • Valid • Suspect • Invalid • If the data falls within the inner range then it will be marked Valid If it falls in between the outer range and the inner range it will be marked Suspect • If data falls outside the outer range it will be marked as Invalid • If the data is missing it will be marked Missingand then filled

  21. Range Checks: Solar Radiation Invalid Suspect Valid -0 950 Hourly Solar Radiation (W m-2)

  22. Persistence Check valid valid susp. susp. valid Difference of Maximum and Minimum over n steps must be greater than y susp.

  23. Step valid Difference of maximum and minimum over n steps must be at most y susp. valid valid valid valid

  24. Automated Q/C • Every morning, data graphically reviewed • Geographically similar stations grouped • All weather parameters reviewed • Bad data estimated or deleted • Dependent computations (ET) recomputed • Upper and lower limit checks on sensor data • Rate of change between consecutive readings

  25. Other Tests • Like Sensors • Relating wind speed 2M to wind speed 10M • Relating occurrence of precipitation to humidity • Nearest Neighbors