Chervenakovo, Sliven region, Bulgaria
Chervenakovo, Sliven region, Bulgaria

21 ha

peach orchards

Peach orchard Dolinata na praskovite

Dolinata na praskovite saves human resources, water and energy with ONDO precision irrigation and fertigation automation

0 %
less human resource needed
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less losses caused by human error
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less water consumed
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less fertilizer used
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higher crop yield

The challenges

Dolinata na praskovite is a leading producer of peaches in the region, with most of the produce being exported. This poses high expectations for the quantity and quality parameters of the crop.

At the same time, the farm was facing numerous challenges. The irrigation in the fields is done via drip irrigation system but the water supply is irregular, with frequent supply disruptions throughout the active season. A specific irrigation infrastructure was built in the farm to ensure  regularity in the water supply when needed. But, there was no information on the quantity of the water actually used during the different phenophases of growth of the plants, as well as in the different irrigation zones, making it hard to analyse and optimise the soil moisture, the crop growing processes and the results achieved.

The fertigation was done manually, using granulated fertilizer, with a significant part of the fertilizer applied not efficiently consumed by the plants.

Finally, as with most farms, Dolinata na praskovite was facing difficulties with finding experienced personnel. The majority of the experienced and highly-qualified staff were involved in executing the processes of irrigation and fertigation of the plants and could not participate efficiently in important agri-technological and managerial processes which would allow the company to optimise its activities and grow its markets.

The owner of the farm Kiril Peychev decided that the solution was to automate the everyday activities related the irrigation and precise fertigation of the plants, as well as the monitoring of those processes. The ultimate goal was to achieve more process efficient execution, efficient usage of higher-quality water-soluble fertilizer with minimum losses, as well as major optimization of the human resources.

The farm owner got in touch with ONDO following positive feedback and referrals from other farm owners.

The solutions

In Dolinata na praskovite ONDO installed completely wireless automation of the irrigation, precise fertigation and monitoring of the plants. Despite the complex topography and steepness of the terrain, the wireless installation based on the ONDO AIR Point wireless modules has been adapted to the specifics of the farm. The installation also included numerous soil moisture sensors based on which the farm could use automated sensor based irrigation.

The agronomist in the farm is now able to create and run in ONDO different recipes for fertigation of the crop using water-soluble fertilizer, per the needs of the plants in the different phenophases of their growth. Thanks to the option to monitor the historical sensor and water/fertiliser consumption data, the farm can optimise the water resource used as well as the nutrients applied.

The results

Thanks to the precise nutrition of the plants with water-soluble fertiliser, the farm is now reporting a very efficient usage of the nutrients and savings of more than 20% of the fertiliser used.

The crop yield has also increased by more than 20%. The fruits have significantly increased in size (the biggest fruit being 513 grams!), while at the same time having better taste and better preservation characteristics. The higher-quality fruit attracted interest from many buyers – both export companies and companies supplying fruit to the local market. The farm is now boasting of loyal customers, regularly buying peaches for fresh consumption.

The farm is also saving the time of the qualified personnel, having offloaded them from the time-consuming and routine activities. Thus they had the time to evaluate the opportunity of expanding the growing activities towards more crops. Thus, just a few months after the integration of ONDO, the farm started growing asparagus! Currently, the farm is already the biggest producer of asparagus in the country, with 15 ha of farming land for this extra crop! The produce is fully targeted at meeting the needs of the local market, but there is already registered interest by export companies. And, of course, in order to ensure the efficiency of the processes in the new farming fields, the farm is already planning the extension of the ONDO automation to the asparagus fields!

Dolinata na praskovite is the next innovative ONDO customer who grows and improves at a really fast pace! And we are happy to be contributing to this growth!

About Dolinata na praskovite /The Peach Valley/

Peach orchard fields

21 ha

Chervenakovo, Sliven, Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Kiril Peychev

Owner of peach orchard Dolinata na praskovite

Dolinata na praskovite is a farm set up in 2012 to grow alfalfa in the lands of Chervenakovo, with a small team of 2 people.

A few years later the owner of the farm decided to take advantage of the local soil and microclimate conditions that are very favorable for the growing of peaches. For more than 70 years the region they are in – the region of Sliven, Bulgaria – has been famous for growing peaches and for being one of the key locations in the country where this type of fruit is being grown.

Thus, in 2018 the farm opens their peach orchard, expanding its size every year to a current size of 21 ha.

The farm employs 8 people permanently and has 15 seasonal workers.