Farmers in the Southwest region are putting out the right amount of water at the right time by controlling their irrigation systems from the palm of their hand. In the past, growers might have spent a lot of time pushing buttons, opening valves by hand, and monitoring irrigation from the field. Today, with automation, AI and digital field mapping, many growers have reduced the time it takes to adjust irrigation as weather and environmental factors change.
“In this region, there are about 200,000 irrigated acres,” said Jacob Hernandez, WiseConn Engineering District Manager covering the central and southern regions of the U.S. “Farmers have continued to grow with technology to be more efficient with water use.”
Southwest growers often prefer drip tape irrigation for its ability to deliver water directly to the root zone of plants. Drip tape is a flexible, porous tape that is placed along rows of plants. It releases water through tiny, evenly spaced pores, ensuring minimal wastage through evaporation or runoff. This targeted approach maximizes plant growth while conserving water.
Drip tape systems can be adjusted to control water flow rates, making them suitable for various soil types and plant needs. A drip tape system paired with irrigation technology like WiseConn’s Drop Control gives growers the utmost control over their water use, all manageable from a mobile device.
“This is an exciting time to be working with growers, especially in the coastal and desert regions,” said Jose Sicairos, RDO Water’s Technology Service Manager. "With the level of precision and data WiseConn offers, we're able to take our partnership with growers to the next level."
"Hernandez agrees with this statement, as he’s seen how partnering with RDO Water and WiseConn enables farmers to position their operations for success in the face of environmental challenges.
“RDO Water team members help growers to transition from furrow to drip irrigation through installation and service of the WiseConn system,” Hernandez said. “After installation, growers see where to adjust their irrigation settings based on soil moisture, weather or other factors in real-time.”
Sicairos recalls how easy it is to help his customers precisely manage their water usage. After creating a WiseConn account, he can easily instruct them on how to access information and regulate the valves of their drip tape from their phone or laptop. Customers can easily schedule irrigation during the day, with the click of a button. “This saved the grower so much time,” Sicarios said.
Hernandez said because of the reduced labor, water use and time savings, growers typically see a return on their initial investment in two years. Monitoring drip tape irrigation in real time has also improved fertilization application, so growers apply it when moisture conditions are just right.
“Our team has found that the combination of WiseConn and RDO’s drip tape can improve irrigation efficiency up to 30% over traditional irrigation methods,” Hernandez said.
With these efficiency improvements, growers can have more peace of mind when considering how they help their crops thrive. See how WiseConn and drip tape irrigation work in perfect unison in the field.