Thursday, 16 June 2016

Farmer Slashes Water Consumption by 75% at IoT Connected Avocado Farm

Farmer Slashes Water Consumption by 75% at IoT Connected Avocado FarmAvocado trees monitored around the clock get irrigated water only when needed; farmer uses IoT to reduce water consumption by 75% and gets put under utility surveillance for suspected meter tampering as a result

The Internet of Things (IoT) is destined to touch every aspect of human endeavour making factories smarter, supply chains intelligent and now farms such as the first connected avocado farms, saving farmers vast amounts of water in growing avocados in the process.

IoT technology pioneer Spirent Communications plc is leading the charge with its open eco-system partners such as Oasis Smart Sim through its connectivity and embedded subscription business and recently showcased various connected solutions at the IoT World exhibition.

It takes 74 gallons of water to produce one pound of avocados and drought-stricken California produces 95 percent of avocados grown in the United States. Nearly all are grown in Southern California, in a five-county region that straddles the coast from San Luis Obispo to San Diego.

Like the rest of the state, the southern coastal region is locked in a drought and largely cut off from the flow of surface water from the state's big irrigation projects. Avocado groves have been hit badly withsky-high water costs and reliance on water pumped from underground aquifers.

Water consumption is regulated in California with the state entering its fourth year of drought resulting in water regulators imposing sweeping and draconian restrictions on the use of water. The State Water Resources Control Board has even urged Californians to let their lawns die.

Some avocado farmers in California feeling the heat have turned to new methods in growing avocados such as higher density planting which enables some to produce twice as much fruit for the same amount of water.

But a new initiative from Spirent Communications in bringing about connected avocado farms might just be the perfect solution to make further inroads into lowering spiralling water costs.

... towards Spirent connected avocado farms
Kurt Bantle is a senior solution manager at Spirent Communications and has 900 young avocado trees planted in his “back garden” in Southern California. Within his remit to develop Spirent’s IoT offering, he decided to experiment into how avocados could be grown using less water through soil moist monitoring and automated irrigation. Read more....


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