Empowering a California Asparagus Farmer to Conserve Water Through IoT Connectivity
Being an organic farmer can be challenging. Farmers are faced with constant pricing pressures from conventional competitors and, in places like California, water limitations and labor shortages also can be an obstacle. That’s why many organic farmers are looking for solutions to help them be more innovative and efficient in growing their crops.
That’s why Devine Organics teamed up with WaterBit and AT&T. WaterBit installed small, solar-powered sensors across the asparagus fields. These sensors collect information on soil moisture and other field conditions. They require no maintenance and are placed under the foliage, so they don’t interfere with field work and harvests. Data from the sensors is sent to a communications hub that can be thousands of feet away. The hub then uses AT&T Internet of Things (IoT) technology to send highly secure data over the AT&T LTE network to the WaterBit app. There, the information is analyzed to determine if a section of the field needs more or less water, and the farmer can remotely control irrigation from their smartphone, turning valves on and off.
The Devine Organics team is now looking to expand the use of WaterBit to other crops, such as pistachio and melons, and into Mexico, where they operate other large organic farms. And beyond their own crops, they are hoping to share the lessons they’ve learned with other farmers trying to reduce their environmental footprint and increase their harvests.