Trud, Plovdiv region, Bulgaria
Trud, Plovdiv region, Bulgaria

100 ha

open fields with vegetables

Vegetable garden “Lapatarev”

3 times decrease of the human resources involved in the management and control of the irrigation and fertigation processes!

0 times
less human resources needed
0 %
decrease in losses from human error

The challenges

Vegetable garden “Lapatarev” is an innovative farm that expands and develops at a really fast pace. The farm grows a large variety of vegetables – peppers, eggplant, green onion, radish, leek and others, on a highly drained terrain. The terrain specifics require frequent irrigation, 20 hours throughout the day, so the needs of the plants could be precisely met. The different crops require different irrigation and fertigation in the different growth phenophases and those requirements should be precisely met, to achieve high quality and quantity of the crop, as well as predictability in the supplies to the commercial partners of the farm.

All the above is posing high expectations to the precise execution and control on the plant irrigation and fertigation processes. The labour market, however, lacks qualified agricultural workers. As a result, the farm is facing losses from human error. The coordination and monitoring of the processes by the management is difficult and time-consuming, which shifts the management’s focus from growing the business to controlling and monitoring the daily routine operations.

Following a referral from another ONDO customer, the farm owner Stanimir Lapatarev got in touch with ONDO to request an automation solution for management and remote control of the irrigation and precise fertigation.

The solutions

In Vegetable garden “Lapatarev” ONDO has set up a fully wireless automation of the irrigation and precise fertigation, via the ONDO wireless AIR Point modules. The management and control of the irrigation and fertigation processes is accomplished via 2 ONDO systems, each of them connected to a different water source.

The automation of the irrigation and fertigation in each of the systems is managed by an ONDO Pro controller, and the precise fertigation is done with a 2-channel ONDO FertiON solution, together with a fertilizer mixing solution ONDO Air Bubble Jet. The monitoring of the soil moisture is done via soil sensors measuring the moisture on 3 separate soil depths and transmitting the sensor data real-time into the cloud-based My ONDO platform. There the data is also saved and visualized.

The management and control of the irrigation and precise fertigation processes, taking place day and night, is done fully remotely, via a mobile device.

The results

Farm “Lapatarev” has been using ONDO for 6+ months now, but has yet to complete a full crop season with ONDO automation. The first few months of working with their automation they fine-tuned and optimised the system settings. Now that the new season has started, they are already using ONDO’s full automation potential!

We are looking forward to sharing with you the results they report, in terms of water, fertiliser and energy savings, as well as increase in the quantity and quality of the crop.

But, right from the first months of using ONDO, the farm has already made the step to re-assign two of their employees – who were until then fully engaged with running the irrigation and fertigation processes on the farm – to other farm activities. At present, the management and monitoring of those processes is performed entirely by the farm owner, from his mobile phone, for a fraction of the time he was spending for the pure monitoring, before ONDO. Now he can easily get a bird-eye view of the fields that are being irrigation and/or fertigated, at any given moment, and is automaticaly receiving alarm notifications from the system in the case when unusual behavior has been detected (e.g when there are clogs or leaks).

The automation saves the owner significant time from the monitoring of the daily activities, and this leads to a decision to automate the irrigation and fertigation processes in extra 13 ha of farming lands in this current year 2024. We are glad to see yet another customer of ONDO who is expanding their automation shortly after finalizing the initial automation install! 

The new fields to be ONDO-mated in farm “Lapatarev” will have the processes managed and controlled with an extra ONDO Pro controller connected to a separate, third source of irrigation water, and a FertiON precise fertigation system along with an Air Bubble Jet solution. This 3rd ONDO system will be powered by photovoltaics – an energy source which is becoming more and more used in agriculture, due to the pursuit of increased sustainability and eco-friendliness of the sector. For ONDO the option for using photovoltaic power is already built into the system, and the challenges related to using this source of energy has been catered for, so the automation can run smoothly.

We are glad that we have as customers one of the most innovative farmers in the country, and beyond! And it is no wonder that the owner of the farm – Mr Lapatarev – has recently been recognized with one of the most prestigious agricultural awards in the country – Farmer of Trakiya! 

About Vegetable garden "Lapatarev"

Open fields with vegetables

100 ha

Trud, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Bulgaria

Stanimir Lapatarev

Owner of Vegetable garden "Lapatarev"

Vegetable garden “Lapatarev” was set up in 2011, growing vegetables on 2 ha of farming land near the village of Trud, Plovdiv region, Bulgaria. In its first years of operation, the farm was operated and managed entirely by its owner Stanimir Lapatarev. As the farm expanded, the owner increased the team of workers on the farm.

Right now, the farm has more than 300 ha of farming land, and in 100 ha of those there is a huge variety of vegetables grown. The rest is used for growing grain crops.

The farm’s produce is entirely targeted at meeting the demand of the local market. Thanks to the farm’s certification per the standards GLOBALG.A.P. и GRASP, it has been selected as a supplier for some of the biggest supermarket chains operating in the country and most of the produce is directly sold to them.

The farm’s team is right now made up of 20 permanently-employed people and 100+ seasonal workers!