WQP learned which educational sessions were most popular among attendees at the 2017 WQA Convention & Exposition.
Wireless Weather Stations on Farms and Vineyards Increase Profits for Growers, Help with National Water Shortages
As the United States faces record droughts, growers are increasingly looking for ways to combat rising water and electricity costs and shore up falling profit margins. To that end, a growing number of farmers and viticulturists are turning to Adcon Telemetry wireless weather stations to reduce their water usage and costs.
Growers from the vineyards of California to the potato fields of Idaho to the soybeans crops of the Midwest to the citrus groves of Florida are working with Adcon. They are using the company's remote, wireless in-field sensors to gather data pertinent to irrigation management and disease control. Data is sent every few minutes via radio waves in real time to a personal computer, allowing growers to remotely monitor large operations. Soil moisture sensors ensure that users irrigate only when and where it is necessary, resulting in ideal conditions for efficient output.
"Information collected by Adcon is very accurate and easy to interpret so it is not atypical for growers to find they are overwatering and to subsequently reduce irrigation scheduling by 20 percent or more," said Britta Hubert, Adcon Telemetry's marketing vice president. "With pumping expenses rapidly escalating, this allows users of Adcon's technology to dramatically cut costs while still providing optimum available moisture."
John Baritelle, owner of California based-Baritelle Farms, Baritelle Vineyards, can attest to the technology's effectiveness. Baritelle has relied on Adcon Telemetry products since 1995. He utilizes wireless weather stations and soil moisture sensors for both his walnut and almond farm in Atwater and vineyards in St. Helena, which together cover 300 acres. The equipment provides Baritelle with devices for effective irrigation management as well as tools for frost control and temperature monitoring.
Before working with Adcon, Baritelle's staff was often unsure of how much irrigation to apply and excessively watered the crops as a precaution to ensure that the crops survived. "But once we installed Adcon's system, we had at our fingertips precise information on how far the water penetrated into the soil and the volume of irrigation needed by the plants," Baritelle said. "We estimate savings of at least 30 percent in costs per annum, a $20,000 reduction. The equipment paid for itself within a year and we see it as an indispensable management tool that allows us to make deliberate and calculated decisions."
Adcon Telemetry, the environmental risk management and radio technology firm, has been providing assistance to agriculturalists since 1992. Several thousand growers are utilizing ten of thousands of Adcon weather stations across the US, Europe, Australia, Canada and Central and South America.
"In the face of potential record droughts, Adcon's system is capable of having a significant, positive impact on the volume of water that is used on a farm or vineyard," said Hubert. "Reducing costs and increasing the quality of produce ensures a win-win situation for the grower."