The speech shows latest evolutions in agriculture decision processes, financed by European initiatives (Horizon 2020), and the threats and risks of the integration between informative systems and ICT infrastructures and the complex ecosystem of field activities.
The speech shows the Hydrotech project as an example of a successful application of these systems to different levels of farm’s activities on Mediterranean crops. Many characteristics of the Hydrotech project determined its success; in fact, the project is the right integration between agronomic and engineering aspects of irrigation management, suitable to different size farms. This is possible thanks to the mixture between the monitoring of the “soil-plat-environment” system and the remote controlled water supply.
In addition, the scientific and structural aspects of the Hydrotech project concur to its success: the FAO-56 approach for the estimation of reference evapotranspiration (ETo) based on the Penman-Montheith equation that allows knowing the system’s water request; the flexibility of the infrastructure allows tailoring the system on the user’s characteristics.
The system has been developed in order to determinate the ETo under limited data availability and to generate the field coefficient curves based on biometric and phonological soil’s characteristics and on the irrigation strategy already adopted. The system aims to provide an irrigation monitoring and managing method that considers the company restrictions, the availability and quality of the water and the crop’s water stress condition.
The plot’s irrigation made by interfaces that connect the field devices through smart devices (tablet and smartphones), is governed by the Data Cloud Network (Hydrotech Data Cloud, HDC). Many farms of the whole Apulia welcomed the Hydrotech testing process, and tested the system on several crops, recording many successful performances.
Thanks to this success, the project is nowadays evolving in a commercial product, Bluleaf that will be soon available on the market.