|Water "On App"|
Water "On App"
For growers who use irrigation, the most important questions are, When and How much? It’s a balancing act among water costs, crop prices, crop yields, and of course, weather.
For more than 25 years, the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has provided a free tool to help answer those questions scientifically, taking the guesswork out of a crucial farming activity.
Irrigator Pro is a software application first introduced by ARS in 1995 as Irrigator Pro for Peanuts. The success and popularity of that package led to comparable models for cotton and corn.
For many years, users had no choice but to use Irrigator Pro on a desktop computer, which limited its portability. Today, however, Irrigator Pro is fully cloud-based, and users can run it on smart phones or tablets via the Irrigator Pro app, which has recently been updated. No more running separate programs for peanuts, cotton, or corn; the same program handles all three crops. Similarly, users can see all their fields in one screen. Of course, Irrigator Pro can still be run on a computer, if desired.
ARS scientists, along with collaborators, have developed the Irrigator Pro app that provides growers of peanuts (above), cotton, and corn with a simple, portable tool to determine when to irrigate to ensure optimal crop growth while minimizing irrigation costs. (Photo courtesy of Casey Cox)
The app’s purpose is to provide growers of peanuts, cotton, and corn with a simple, portable tool to determine when to irrigate to ensure optimal crop growth while minimizing irrigation costs.
Available for iOS and Android platforms, the app features the ability to collect data from soil moisture sensors in the field, transmit data to the Irrigator Pro cloud server, and automatically retrieve irrigation recommendations. Data can also be entered manually. A Web-based platform runs in synch with the app. Any updates are applied simultaneously to the Web-based platform and the mobile app for all users.
Irrigator Pro is a software application first introduced by ARS in 1995 as Irrigator Pro for Peanuts. The success and popularity of that package led to comparable models for cotton and corn. (Photo by Stephen Ausmus, D1152-4)
Irrigator Pro is based on data from long-term irrigation-management research performed by the ARS National Peanut Research Laboratory in Dawson, GA. The lab’s collaborators are the Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District and the University of Georgia. The Irrigator Pro app is based upon work supported by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.
For more information, including download links, methodology, and tutorials, visit www.IrrigatorPro.org. —By Sue Kendall, ARS Office of Communications.