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Pilot Irrigation Program in Trifylia

Pilot Irrigation Program in Trifylia

GreenWaterDrone in press
GreenWaterDrone in press

The area of Trifylia is once again at the center of innovative techniques in crops, as the implementation of a pilot program for the calculation - in real time – of the irrigation needs of crops with the application of modern techniques begins.

Little remote helicopters, known as drones, will scan crops with infrared sensors and equipped with mini weather stations, will send the data online to a database. So, within minutes the producer will know if his crop needs watering, and how much. This way will achieve rational water management, and of course savings, both for this good and for the producer himself, who will at the same time achieve optimal production from his cultivation.

The pilot project will be implemented in the area of Trifylia with the cooperation of the Agricultural University of Athens and the local Directorate of Rural Economy and Veterinary, as well as other institutions and private companies. Yesterday morning the presentation of the project took place at the area of the HAO (Hellenic Agricultural Organization) "Dimitra" in Kyparissia, where the design and the expected results were analysed.

The main presenter of the program was Stavros Alexandris, associate professor at the Agricultural University of Athens - Department of Natural Resources and Agricultural Engineering, who speaking to "E" about this project noted:

"We have started a program that its originality lies in the fact that the measurements that we take from crops to calculate how much water they really consume will be done in real time. We install in 3 farms of producers that will cooperate, 3 stations, in 3 different crops, which we will calibrate for the entire growing season.

We'll take measurements from a drone that will have a small weather station. The calibration period from the ground system is to correlate the values with the values we will receive from the drone. This will then enable us to use it more widely. It will give us spatial analysis of the water status of crops in any area, we will know in real time when a field a crop has water requirements. This gives a lot of savings to water management and the producer. We will have a rational use of water and the least possible water required by a crop. With an app it will be able to give the farmer notice even on his mobile phone that his field is thirsty. Or it will be able to open - and we will see it in the coming years - the irrigation system and water.

The originality of the program is that, through the infrared radiation and the temperature it will get, it will be able to directly give the actual consumption of water. It's an innovation that has never been done before, because we're going to have an infrared sensor."

The director of the Directorate of Rural Economy and Veterinary of Trifylia Antonis Paraskevopoulos pointed out:

"One of the crops we have proposed is that of watermelon, which is dynamic and in need of water, so we wanted to have good water management. We will also include horticultural and other open crops. Our goal is to pass the logic of new technologies and make rational use of water.

Everything that once seemed distant to us is now a reality. This program is not happening randomly in Trifylia, nor was it chosen by chance, there was interest from the producers and from our service by positively approaching this whole program".

Eleftheria (article in greek)