Solarcrop is Sencrop’s new irradiance sensor which allows producers to link up real-time solar irradiation, rainfall, humidity, temperature and wind data, as well as accurate weather forecasting.
The technology can accurately predict evapotranspiration rates and soil moisture availability based on crop type and growth stage, helping farmers to identify when and how much to irrigate without the need for expensive and very localised soil probes.
Martin Ducroquet, co-founder of Sencrop, said: “Much of the UK is getting drier – and more extreme weather events are becoming the norm. In addition, the environmental issue around irrigation is no longer in question; producers can massively reduce their water consumption by optimising irrigation systems. We want Irricrop to change the world of irrigation, by making this new solution accessible to all. This evolution is completely consistent with our original mission, to standardise precision agriculture.”
Thibaut Mathey-Bony, product innovation manager at Sencrop, explained that one sensor can monitor up to 10 fields across a range of 10 miles: “Based on two years of research and development and patented technology, Solarcrop measures solar irradiation to a unique accuracy of 2%.”
When working with the Raincrop and Windcrop sensors, as well as individual field and crop information, the programme can accurately predict the soil moisture surplus or deficit over the coming seven days, enabling producers to better plan their irrigation or field work.
Mr Mathey-Bony said: “The firm now has a network of more than 2,000 connected stations across the country, generating ultra-precise and local information like temperature, humidity, wind speed and rainfall. Now farmers can also measure solar irradiation, it maximises their ability to manage climatic risks, as well as diseases and pests.
“When combined with accurate weather forecasts and real-time monitoring, farmers can optimise the use of inputs, for example only spraying and undertaking fieldwork when the weather conditions are right.”