VALENCIA, Spain, January 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --
FIGARO, an EU-funded international project focused on developing new precision technologies to improve irrigation management for the purpose of increasing water productivity, will present the first annual results of field tests carried out in nine European countries at the next partners meeting.
During the meeting, which will be held at the Scientific Park of the University Politécnica de Valencia from January 20-24, 2014, the first annual results of all field tests will be evaluated in order to optimize the FIGARO (Flexible and Precise Irrigation Platform to Improve Farm Scale Water Productivity) system. In the coming months, the FIGARO partners plan to integrate additional features and components into the system.
"We are looking forward to the publication of our first full year field tests," said project coordinator Lior Doron, director of the Crop Management Technology department at Netafim Ltd., a world leader in drip and micro-irrigation. "Initial indicators suggest that the FIGARO system has already proved to be an effective tool for reducing water usage."
The results of an initial case study which simulated the use of FIGARO's innovative algorithms to schedule irrigation at a cotton farm in Northern Greece showed that the proposed approach would lead to substantial water savings while ensuring that the target yield specified by the farmer is achieved.
For the specific field used in the simulation, the irrigation schedules generated by these algorithms used ~55% of the water currently allocated for this kind of crop for rainy years and ~85% of the allocated water for dry years. Although these results are still preliminary, they indicate that the proposed approach will indeed lead to significant water savings.
Participants at the FIGARO meeting in Spain will visit fields in which the FIGARO prototype is installed. This will include a visit to Picassent, where the system is used to irrigate citrus orchards, and to vineyards in Cheste.
By collecting environmental and crop-growth data, then feeding it into state-of-the-art agronomic models, the FIGARO system outputs precise, reliable and tailored recommendations for how and when farmers should irrigate their specific fields throughout the season.
FIGARO is a Europe-wide research project co-funded by the European Commission under the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development of the European Union.
The FIGARO consortium is industry driven and includes 17 different organizations from eight different countries, including a number of commercial and academic leaders in the field of irrigation. Figaro partners bring expertise in precise irrigation-related technologies. The consortium is augmented by eight academic institutions, a regional authority and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
For more information: http://www.figaro-irrigation.net/