Precise irrigation as a measure to preserve the land’s value in Germany

Here in the good examples sharing section at AGROHUB.BG, we are introducing you to one more of the many examples of acting Operative Groups in the EU territory. Get to know the activity of the Prepared Irrigation – Control of Additional Use of Water in Plant-Growing, formed under Measure 16.1 of RDP in Germany.

Their representatives will take part in the practical part of the High Level Forum on Digital Agriculture “Together for Strong Digital Agriculture” to be held from 18 to 20 April 2018 under the program of the Bulgarian EU Council Presidency. Organizers of the event are the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the Institute for Agro-Strategies and Innovations, in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry.

In the German federal province of Brandenburg, irrigation of arable land is a measure to preserve its agricultural value, despite decreasing summer rainfall. However, to avoid excessive use of available water resources, it is necessary to develop precise irrigation controls and test them in local conditions.

To solve this identified practical problem, an Operative Innovation Group was set up to implement a project with a budget of EUR 916,121 for the period from April 2016 to December 2019 under the “Cooperation” measure of the Rural Development Program in Germany. Project partners are the Landscape Research Institute, local agricultural holdings, two irrigation-implementing companies and the NGO “Association for Irrigation of Central Germany”.

Among the goals set by the Operative Group project are the development of an economic solution for site-specific irrigation that takes into account the actual need for crop water as well as assessing the potential of infrared thermography for precise irrigation control in addition to traditional soil approaches.

Among the expected results of the project, the existing irrigation management model is adapted to the irrigation control specific to the area. The model results are automatically transferred to central pile management to save expenses for labor and other resources. As the management approach is applied on an agricultural scale and assessed through a cost-benefit analysis, a practical solution will be developed for the accurate irrigation of local farmers in Brandenburg.

Up to now, two existing central piles have been modified to enable the specific application of irrigation water. Areas for irrigation management and control of the time and amount of water for irrigation with an offline prototype of the existing management model were obtained. In addition, satellite images are made in the infrared spectrum to derive the temperatures of the valleys and calculate the stress indices in the different cultures.

The publication is based on EIP – AGRI materials

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