Popovo, Targovishte region
Popovo, Targovishte region

90 ha

of open fields

Otbrani farm

“Otbrani” controls the irrigation and precise fertigation, reacts to irrigation infrastructure issues and saves more than 30% of the water resources with ONDO

0 %
less water consumed
0 %
less fertilizers consumed
0 %
increase in crop yield
0 x
times faster reaction to issues with irrigation

The challenges

The Otbrani farm is growing 5 types of berry fruits in open fields, mostly for fresh consumption on the local market. All these crops require specific irrigation and fertigation, in line with the plant growth stage and EC/pH needs, in order to ensure great taste and preservation qualities of the fruits as well as high yield meeting the market demand.

The region where Otbrani grows the fruits, however, has been suffering in the last years from irregular, mostly scarce rains. The usage of irrigation water has been much restricted. Increasing fertilizer expense and the demand for clean produce has put pressure on the farm to fertilize the plants in an optimal manner – by using very precise fertilizer quantities, only when the plants are most likely to benefit from the fertilizer.

Any technical issues in the systems for irrigation and fertigation, even for a short period of time, can be fatal for the crop.

The farm owner and manager got in touch with ONDO, looking for a solution for automated irrigation and fertigation that would ensure fast, easy and precise management and control of these two processes, and would send instant notifications for eventual issues in the infrastructure for irrigation and fertigation.

 

The solutions

The farm of Otbrani is made up of several farming plots, each with different berry crops and specifics of the terrain. In 2020, ONDO installed its first cable-based irrigation and precise fertigation automation solution in Otbrani, for 20 ha of the farming fields. The results achieved throughout the 1st year were impressive, with water savings of 30%, fertilizer savings of 20%, increased crop yield and much faster time for reaction to infrastructure issues

In 2021 Otbrani proceeded with stage 2 of the automation, requesting a fully wireless irrigation and fertigation automation with ONDO, for another 30 ha of farming land. The wireless automation brought up challenges caused by the specifics of the farming terrain, but thanks to the close collaboration between ONDO and Otbrani’s team, those were successfully resolved. 

Later in 2021 the farm also decided to upgrade and extend their initial, cable-based ONDO automation. ONDO added a new fertigation system to it and added more fields to the automation, making it a hybrid one – i.e having cable-based and wireless automation managed by the same ONDO Pro solution. Thus, at the end of 2021 the farm was already using automated irrigation and fertigation for a big part of their farming land.

In 2022 and 2023 the berry farm further extended their automation, to cover the remaining part of the 90 ha berry fields. They now have 3 ONDO Pro and 7 ONDO FertiON  solutions for automation of their irrigation and precise fertigation. 3 of the FertiONs have been upgraded with EC/pH control modules. The automation in the entire farm is now controlled via 50+ wireless ONDO AIR Point modules. 

The results

By using ONDO precision irrigation, fertigation and climate control system, the team at Otbrani ensures that the plants are receiving just the right amounts of water and nutrients. When plants have their precise needs taken care of, they give back, and the farm is registering an increased, stable and highly predictable crop yield.

The technical team is now managing and controlling the irrigation from their mobile devices, taking far less time compared to their previous, manual type of management and control. The farm is also using less water now, compared to previous years. And even though issues with the irrigation infrastructure cannot be avoided, the reaction time to those is considerably reduced with the timely alarms sent by ONDO.

Last but not least, thanks to the flexibility offered by ONDO automation, this customer was able to fully automate the irrigation and precise fertigation on all of its berry fields, per the available budget and needs of the farm.

Otbrani is now a renowned producer of fresh berries, with its produce meeting quality standards and being sold in the biggest supermarkets in the country. And even though climate changes pose challenges to the farm, they are able to meet them, while at the same time maintaining their high yield and stable profit.

About “Otbrani” farm

Open fields with raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, red currant

90 ha

Popovo, Bulgaria

facebook.com/otbrani

instagram.com/otbranii

Bulgaria

Nayden Petrov

Owner of Otbrani farm

The farmer Nayden Petrov created his farm 20 years ago, growing raspberries on less than 1 ha. Each year, he was adding more land to his farm and the fruits he was growing were becoming more and more diverse.

Currently the farm has approximately 90 ha of land on which they grow 5 different types of berry fruit. There are 30 employees who are permanently employed, while the seasonal workers in the summer period reach up to 300 people per day. The farm products are sold in major online and offline supermarkets in Bulgaria.