We are getting more and more requests from farmers who have an existing irrigation, fertigation and climate control automation but want to modernise it, i.e replace their existing automation solution with an ONDO solution. This is the so-called retrofitting – modernisation during which the ONDO solutions are fully integrating with the already existing and functional infrastructure for irrigation, fertigation and climate control in the farm.
One of our most recent customers who modernised the automation of their farm irrigation and precise fertigation with ONDO, is the vineyard farm Covex. The farm grows 50 ha of vines in the regions of Strelcha and Panagyurishte, Bulgaria, with the grapes produced being used to manufacture their own brand of quality wine.
The key results that the farm is looking to achieve via this modernisation of the automation are:
- More precise and efficient management of the irrigation and fertigation processes
- Fully remote control and monitoring, from any part of the world and any mobile device connected to the Internet
- Monitoring and reporting on the sensor data and the automated actions done by the system, as well as on all manual actions undertaken
- Integration of the automation system with a weather station and a model for disease prevention in the vines
The efficient management of the irrigation and precise fertigation, in line with the growth phase of the vine plant, is extremely important in order to ensure high yield and grapes with excellent taste, colour and aroma. In Covex farm ONDO modernised and optimised the processes of precise irrigation and fertigation via 2 ONDO solutions, each of them managing the automation in 25 ha of vineyards. The ONDO solutions integrate with the customer’s existing subsurface drip irrigation system and cable-based install. The fertigation of the plants is done via a 3-channel fertigation system, also managed by ONDO.
The soil moisture monitoring is done via a total of 6 soil moisture sensors, each of them measuring the moisture content at 3 depths – 30/60/90 cm. Measuring the soil moisture at different depths is very important to ensure that the plants are not getting excessive moisture during the process of shaping and ripening of the fruit. Via the soil moisture sensors the farm agronomists are also controlling the process of ‘drying’ the plant which is supposed to start 2-3 weeks before the crop is ready to be harvested. The final goal is – making sure that the grapes are getting full of taste, aroma and sugars during the process of shaping and ripening of the fruits.
The soil moisture data from all sensors is integrated with ONDO and visualised real-time in it.
To achieve efficient monitoring on the conditions of the external environment, there are two weather stations ONDO Weather set up in the farm. The weather stations are integrated with a model for disease prevention for the vines.
The diseases on the vine plant are a key reason for the poor quality and quantity of the crop. At the same time, the excessive treatment of the plants against diseases has a negative economic impact for the manufacturer, as well as a negative ecological impact on the plants. Thanks to the weather stations and the disease prevention model integrated with them, the plants in Covex farm are only treated against diseases when there is a high probability for diseases to occur. The result is – cleaner produce, less treatment of the plants against diseases and better economical results for the farmer.
To deliver a complete solution to this farm, ONDO also selected and supplied for Covex a camera measuring the water content in the stem of the plant. This camera is similar to a sensor and helps to monitor the water stress of the plant. Soon we will be able to integrate this sensor with ONDO and allow all data coming from it to be visualised and monitored from ONDO, real-time.
Last but not least, we want to note that this customer project has been financed via the EU program ‘Restructuring and conversion of vineyards’. Our team has created and presented all the necessary documentation for this project, in the required formats and deadlines. We are aiming at providing the best possible support to any farmer looking to finance their ONDO solution with aid from the government, the EU or other institution.
We wish tons of success to our customer and congratulate him for deciding to pursue better financial results for their farm via the usage of smart farming technologies.