Precision farming in crop and livestock production

Photo: ATB


A novel plant-based approach to estimate irrigation water needs and apply optimal deficit strategy - Specific project: Reference data for sensor calibration and implementation of sensor data in physiological models - Einbindung von Fernerkundungs- und Nahbereichsdaten in ein mechanistisches, physiologisches Model zur Bewässerungssteuerung im Obstbau; Teilvorhaben: Referenzdatenerfassung, Kalibrierung und Einbindung von Sensordaten in physiologische Modelle
Coordinating Institute
Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas
Institut National de Recherche pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement
Olive tree Institute Sfax
Centre d’Etudes Spatiales de la BIOsphère Toulouse
University Cadi Ayyad Marrakech
Verde Smart Corporación SL

Allocated to research program
The main goal of IRRIWELL is to test the implementation of a novel approach to estimate water requirements of fruit trees based on stomatal conductance with the aid of plant sensors and mechanistic physiological models. Stomata! conductance is a key parameter to assess water consumption in trees but also a unique mean to bridge the carbon and water cycles and therefore, to link water consumption to production. Automatie estimation of stomatal conductance can be achieved combining adequate plant sensors (turgor-related or sap flow) with mechanistic models. Stomata! conductance is used for two purposes: together with plant leaf area to estimate water consumption and to decide the optimal irrigation amount, including the application of the deficit irrigation strategy, based on its tight correlation with photosynthesis. Still, a second issue must be solved: sensors will be limited to a few trees and we need to handle heterogeneity in the orchard. This will be addressed by the use of GIS web platforms with remote sensing data, which also will be used to estimate the seasonal leaf area index based on NDVI values. These components altogether constitute the novel approach proposed in IRRIWELL and the main goal is to make it operational and ready to be implemented in a wide range of fruit tree species and growing conditions. Once developed and tested its acceptance by end-users will be analysed, including the cost limitations. The required technology is already in a mature stage of development, including a preliminary test of the stomatal conductance approach, the GIS web platform and a low-cost sensor at its industrial stage of development.

Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) / Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)
Grant agreement number
Funding framework
PRIMA - Partnership for Research and Innovation in the Mediterranean Area