Automatic Irrigation of Apple Orchards

Automatic control of irrigation systems by means of soil-moisture sensors

Automatically controlled irrigation systems enable significant water savings and allow us to water the plants in a targeted manner.

The Sensorscope DS3 control unit measures soil moisture at various places and depths, and controls irrigation based on its findings. Users can permanently monitor soil moisture online.

Irrigation of a young orchard on deep soil

Young orchard with sparsely laden trees

Automatic irrigation of a young orchard with sparsely laden trees. In this instance, we irrigated  in a very water-saving fashion by means of low threshold values (-45 kPa at 20cm and -30 kPa at 40cm depth). Only 17% of the precipitation deficit was offset by irrigation, representing a substantial savings of water.

Irrigation of an Orchard with Densely Laden Trees

Orchard with heavily laden trees

With threshold values of -30 kPa (20cm depth) and -20 kPa (40 cm depth), the plants were always well supplied with water. In this way, 64% of the precipitation deficit was offset, which is still in the normal range, and served to safeguard a yield of over 50 t/ha.



Further Information


Teleagronomy for Apple and Cacao Crops

The ‘Agronomeet’ data platform allows producers to combine and log data from a wide range of sources such as sensors, weather stations and databases.


Cacao Cultivation in the Semi-Arid Climate

As part of a joint project with farms in Brazil, cacao is now being cultivated in a semi-arid climate. The aims were to discuss the potential for cultivating cacao in these regions, and to improve the production systems.