“Improved irrigation efficiency through data-driven irrigation management will result in direct economic and environmental impacts”
How will this research help increase the competitiveness and profitability of Alberta’s agriculture industry?
Alberta is known as the capital of irrigation in Canada with 500,000 Ha irrigated on more than 2,100 farms in the province.
Alberta’s irrigation water comes from off-farm sources. Given this distinction, this proposal is to integrate smart-sensor irrigation technology
with data-driven decision models is particularly powerful. This technology has the potential to increase farm productivity, reduce water usage, and provide higher quality agricultural products. This project proposes to develop, deploy, and assess an automated, sensor-integrated open-source system to provide continually updated irrigation prescription maps for variable rate irrigation systems with farm partners in Alberta.
Why did RDAR invest in this project?
Improved irrigation efficiency through data-driven irrigation management will result in direct economic and environmental impacts
(electricity savings, water cost savings, along with higher quality production as irrigation is better tailored to crop water needs). Water
savings obtained by implementing data-driven smart irrigation systems directly translate into additional acreage under irrigation, which is
consistent with the Government of Alberta’s goals to expand irrigated areas in the province.
How will this project and its knowledge be transferred and shared with producers?
This project’s knowledge mobilization strategy is based on Farming Smarter’s deep rooted connections in the Alberta irrigation belt. We will use their established network of extension services to communicate project outcomes and recommendations to farmers. LiteFarm will make public technical guidance documents for integrating sensors, actuators, and other products with their platform and share outcomes of the project with users in over 50 countries, worldwide.
Farming Smarter fosters on-going relationships with producer-oriented media including The Western Producer, Alberta Farmer Express,
Grainews, Real Agriculture and other public media. Furthermore, research updates will be mobilized through Farming Smarter’s two annual magazines distributed to 10,000 rural addresses in southern Alberta. Farming Smarter will also create regular news posts focusing on updates from the ongoing project, potentially including field observations, photos and videos from the field. These news posts will be shared on social media across Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.