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Impact Statement: 'Smartphone Apps for Irrigation Scheduling'

Statement Details

Brief Title
Smartphone Apps for Irrigation Scheduling

Title
Smartphone Apps for Irrigation Scheduling

Author
Vellidis, George

Year
2016

Geographic Scope
Multi-State/Regional

County
Tift

Location
 

Your Unit/Department/Group
Crop & Soil Sciences

Summary
Easy-to-use irrigation scheduling tools are not readily available and frequently require daily data entry from producers to function. This makes it difficult for agricultural producers to use these tools resulting in very low adoption rates. In response, we are developing a suite of easy-to-use smartphone applications (apps) which can be used for scheduling irrigation in several crops important to Georgia The Cotton App was released in 2014 and has been show to significantly increase irrigation water use efficiency by more than 30%. Additional apps are in development and will be released soon.

Situation
Georgia has faced repeated droughts and widely varying rainfall patterns over the past two decades making irrigation a critical asset in maintaining yield stability. Using irrigation water efficiently (the amount of water needed to grow a pound of crop) is critical to increasing yields and ensuring adequate water supplies. Yet USDA estimates that more than 85% of Georgia farmers do not use science-based irrigation scheduling. This is partly because easy-to-use irrigation scheduling tools are not readily available and frequently require daily data entry from farmers to function. This makes it difficult for farmers to use these tools resulting in very low adoption rates.

Response
We are developing a suite of easy-to-use smartphone applications (apps) which can be used for scheduling irrigation in several crops important to Georgia. The apps require minimum input from the user and push notifications to the user when it is time to irrigate. The apps have been developed or are being developed for cotton, soybeans, tomato, cabbage, watermelon, and blueberry.

Impact
The Cotton SmartIrrigation App was released in 2014 and has been used by cotton growers for three growing seasons. Data show that it can improve water use efficiency by more than 30%. Apps for soybeans, tomato, cabbage, watermelon, and blueberry are currently in various stages of development and will be released to the public by 2018. Apps are free and can be downloaded for iOS and Android smartphones from www.smartirrigationapps.org.

State Issue
Conservation & Management of Natural Resources

Program Function(s)

  • Extension
  • Research

Program Area(s)

  • Agriculture & Natural Resources

Funding Source(s)

  • Federal Grants
  • State Grants

Collaborator(s)

CAES Collaborator(s)
  • Perry , Calvin D.
  • Coolong , Tim
  • Smith , Erick
  • Porter , Wesley
Non-CAES Collaborator(s)
  • Kati Migliaccio, University of Florida
  • Clyde Fraisse, University of Florida
  • Kelly Morgan, University of Florida