ROME, January 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
FIGARO, an EU-funded international project focused on developing new precision agriculture DSS to improve irrigation management for the purpose of increasing water productivity, will present an advanced precision irrigation DSS system at a special partners meeting to be held January 19-21, 2015 in Rome, Italy.
The FIGARO platform V1, a decision support system for water and fertilizer irrigation, acts as a SaaS platform, periodically running leading and approved crop models to provide farmers with on-line recommendations regarding the best irrigation and fertilization schedules for their farms. Data is provided for specific crops and soils, water and climate conditions.
In order to make the recommendations precise, the platform is connected to real-world sensors, and collects environmental and crop-growth data from a wide variety of in-field and remote sensors and data sources including soil moisture, water meters, satellite images and weather stations. The data are fed automatically or manually into the DSS platform models and supply the crop module operating on real-time data.
"As we enter the third year of the system's development, we are proud to present the highly innovative and advanced precision irrigation DSS system," said project coordinator Lior Doron, director of the Crop Management Technology department at Netafim Ltd., a world leader in drip and micro irrigation.
"Our field tests indicate that the system is very effective in preserving scarce water resources by increasing water productivity and as a consequence, reducing the total amount of water used for irrigation. Moreover, reduction in fertilizer usage and increase of crop yields has also been observed."
The FIGARO (Flexible and Precise Irrigation Platform to Improve Farm Scale Water Productivity) system has already been tested in field tests carried out in nine European countries with very promising results. In the coming months, the FIGARO platform will be presented to farmers and other stakeholders in a series of workshops, which will take place in different European countries.
The partners meeting in Rome will be hosted by FIGARO partner, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). During the event, plans for field testing and further improvements to the system will be discussed. A new sensor and several applications which will feed additional data into the system will also be presented.
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.
For more information: http://www.figaro-irrigation.net/