WATERAGRI will test and optimise the irrigation model (part of the framework tool set) developed by AGRICOLUS, which supports farmers in the management of farms providing easy-to-use tools such as registration of crop operations and crop damages as well as seasonal weather forecasting. The system will integrate VULTUS remote sensing technology to analyse crop development and variation over time. The model will effectively integrate sensor data, networks, monitoring tools, forecast models, remote sensing and decision support functionalities. The irrigation model will provide critical input to the fully integrated, physically-based modelling system. The WVSI-WRC and hydraulic conductivity models will provide well-defined groundwater conditions at varied water saturation degrees in relation to climate and crop farming, which play a key part in the whole irrigation model.
WATERAGRI will also develop novel irrigation management and agrometeorological monitoring solutions to support best management practices and monitoring water requirements with particular reference to water retention and nutrient recovery. The corresponding proof of concept defines the integration of the current state-of-the-art agro-meteorological and irrigation management solutions with the WATERAGRI framework and solutions to enhance water retention and nutrient recovery within the catchment in real conditions, particularly at farm level. The upgraded system to be developed by AGRICOLUS will be used to help farmers, agronomists and advisers to manage irrigation scheduling and crop stress in real time, ensuring optimal production while reducing water use, energy consumption and environmental impact. Stress management and irrigation advice service have the purpose to cover the entire irrigation process, ensuring optimal production all season long, planning farm operation and management strategy based on current crop needs and weather conditions.
WATERAGRI promotes remote sensing innovations by AGRICOLUS and VULTUS. Integration of remote sensing, geographic information systems and global positioning system increases the operational use and spatial resolution of the crop simulation and water balance model. Most importantly, the use of innovative satellite radar polarimetric measurements will enhance the understanding of soil water, crop phenological phase and geometry in all-weather conditions. Crop water use is captured across the growing season.