SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 26, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Based on its recent analysis of the smart irrigation industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Hortau with the 2017 North America New Product Innovation Award for its proprietary soil tensiometer field monitoring stations. Hortau, a North American company with headquarters in California and Quebec, designs and manufactures precision irrigation management systems for agriculture. Its patented system based on irrigation management software, automation technology, and weather monitoring helps farmers manage crop stress and ensure optimal production while simultaneously reducing water use, energy consumption, and overall environmental impact.
One of the most important global environmental challenges is achieving a balance between the utilization of fresh water for agriculture and meeting the domestic and industrial water requirements of an exponentially increasing population. The contribution of smart irrigation systems to simultaneously benefit food production and decrease water consumption is significant. However, several challenges remain, including:
- Improper scheduling, which over a prolonged period of time can cause crop damage and affect crop yield;
- Conventional systems' inability to accurately define real-time crop stress based on limited inputs from the direct chemical measurement of soil tension;
- Inconsistent regional water regulations and frameworks; and
- Minimal access to data-driven, predictive algorithms for increasing the yield per acre.
"For companies in this field, the key to success resides in a solution's ability to help farmers automate their irrigation scheduling to increase crop yield with minimal water consumption and near-zero fertilizer leaching," said Thirumalai. "The ability to measure soil tension and plant stress and transmit that information in real time helps farmers identify the optimal growing environment and design optimal irrigation schedules."
Hortau's proprietary soil tensiometer field monitoring stations measure soil tension and plant stress via several built-in sensors, allowing crops to communicate in real time with cloud-based software. The system includes weather stations that collect temperature, rainfall, wind, relative humidity, and other real-time data, all of which is accessible via growers' personal computers or mobile devices. Hortau's automation technology helps growers establish ideal irrigation schedules by prescribing precise watering times, locations, and amounts based on sensors' soil tension readings. The company's proprietary technology is also a proactive solution. Farmers receive up-to-the-minute soil tension and plant stress data for a comprehensive picture of the amount of water the crop actually takes in for efficient growth. With that data, farmers can also use Hortau's app to forecast irrigation times or even use their personal devices to start irrigation in response to specific sensor readings.
"Hortau's soil tensiometer monitoring stations allow growers to use real-time data from the sensor-based monitoring stations to immediately remedy plant stress and optimize growing conditions," said Frost & Sullivan Analyst Sharath Thirumalai. "In comparison, most competitors' systems react to weather parameters and the measurement of water volume in the soil, regardless of the crops' actual needs."
Hortau's soil tensiometer monitoring stations offers complete automation of water supply management with the help of satellite imagery from third-party data sources. Its autonomous control of all pumps, valves, filters, and fertilizer injectors required for efficient irrigation takes into account individual farming operations and pumping capacities. In addition, the artificial intelligence-based management system features a simple dashboard that gives farmers information about land, crops, and day-to-day operations for efficient zonal monitoring. Hortau's smart irrigation solution for growers provides the ability to optimize irrigation scheduling, accurately measure crop stress, and gain sensor-captured data for immediate use. For these reasons, Hortau has earned Frost & Sullivan's 2017 North America New Product Innovation Award.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that has developed an innovative element in a product by leverage leading-edge technologies. The award recognizes the value-added features/benefits of the product and the increased ROI it gives customers, which in turn raises customer acquisition and overall market penetration potential.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.
Hortau, a global leader in wireless, web-based irrigation management systems, was founded in 2002 by two agriculturally minded entrepreneurs, Dr. Jean Caron, agronomist, Ph.D in Soil Physics, and Jocelyn Boudreau, agricultural engineer, M.Sc. in Soil Physics.
Hortau's patented, irrigation management solutions help growers detect plant stress, ensuring optimal crop growth while reducing water and energy use as well as eliminating the environmental impacts of crop production.
Hortau has offices, representatives and technicians throughout the U.S. and Canada. Learn more at Hortau.com.
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SOURCE Frost & Sullivan