Farming services & solutions agriculture & horticulture

Substrate Irrigation Management

Utilise our Substrate Management System to enable you to precisely match your irrigation to the plant's needs 

Poor irrigation practice will have a detrimental effect on both quality and yield, and cost you money!

Why Schedule your Substrate Production?

  • Applying irrigation water and fertiliser is an expensive pastime
  • If you are running your crops at 30% run-off then you are simply wasting 30% of your water and fertiliser whilst creating an unhealthy tunnel environment - does this make economic sense? 

Good Irrigation management in substrate is the difference between success and failure. With little room for error it is vital that the irrigation system can deliver water and nutrients to the plants equally and evenly across your crop. To ensure your irrigation system is delivering it is worth investing time and money at this point in proper planning and design.                                                                

See our page on Planning your substrate irrigation

Agri-tech Substrate Irrigation Management Solution

Our solution delivers data from field to your mobile device via your secure login area every 1/2 hr 24/7 365
  • Hardware strategically installed in your crop backed up with in field observations / checks 
  • Access your data via your own client dashboard, giving graphic up to date status of your moisture management
  • Drill into the easy to understand graph area for more detailed analysis
  • Access reports and alerts from the dashboard
  • Use the client feedback area for ease of communication
  • Global applications - it doesn't matter where you are growing, we have the solution

Agri-tech Probe in substrate stawberries

Strategic positioning of the Agri-tech probe system enables your team to have full control

Identify a representative area to insert the probe. Switch on the system and data is immediately reporting to your secure area of the Agri-tech server

Watch your plants wake up and go to sleep each day. Match the irrigation to the plant's varying plant water demand by watching "live" as it happens

Watch the hour by hour water use, see your irrigations as they happen together with run-off events

Agri-tech probe and run-off station in troughs

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Backed up with in-field checks

To ensure the probe data is representative, daily checks are required by the irrigation team on positioning of the probe, the plant material in the bag or pot, and the irrigation drippers providing the water and feed.

Run-off measurements together with a check on EC in and EC out are required, together with squeeze tests across the crop to determine irrigation uniformity is happening, and that the correct moisture levels are being achieved at the right time of day

Client secure Login area on the web

Clients have a secure login page (above) to access their data 24/7 365

Agri-tech will interpret the moisture data, highlight moisture parameter markers and add in additional field data such as run-off, "squeeze test" analysis, as a cross reference

Sort the graphs by farm / crop

Each client Login has a "notice board" together with a report area for all staff to reference whilst within their login page.

Quickly check the moisture status on the summary page by viewing the "fuel gauge" icons, investigate any potential problem areas with ease


Example of the Agri-tech Moisture graph / report

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Example Raspberry substrate crop - 7 day graph. Graph includes from top;

  • Timing of Run-off events
  • Coir temeprature
  • Coir EC
  • Irrigation events (hourly)
  • Plant water uptake (hourly)
  • Moisture in the pot

The blue zone on the moisture graph is where moisture needs to be to achieve run-off. The time markers on the moisture lines are indicating when the moisture came back into the green zone. The top half of the green zone is medium squeeze territory, the bottom of the green zone is medium / hard. 

In detail;

To avoid wasteful run-off and ensure uniformity, we recommend using the Agri-tech surveying service to obtain highly accurate and detailed information, from basic tunnel layout to detailed topographic data that the substrate system sits on. A detailed "picture" of the ground enables the irrigation team, together with the designer, to ensure that the system performs at its optimum, avoiding drain down once the system shuts down. Drain down must be avoided; therefore, choice of dripper and correct placement of any DNL (dripper non leakage) devices is essential. The DNL acts like a "canal gate" preventing drain down of the system once the valve closes. The DNL devices need to follow the contour lines of the land, meaning detailed contour maps are essential to help ensure uniformity. 

Having insured that the irrigation system is capable of delivering the correct quantity and frequency of water to meet the plant's demand, Agri-tech's Substrate Management Solution becomes an essential "tool" to understand the plant's needs.

Using the moisture probe in either pots or bags, one is able to see "real time" the moisture content as it varies over time. The data is displayed in mm of water (an easy to understand format). From the probe data one can see exactly how many mm of water per day the plants are using, how many mm's are being applied each day to the pot/bag, and from this information one is easily able to adjust the number of irrigation events each day to match altering climatic conditions.

Adding the Run-off sensor enables complete clarity as to when during the 24hr period the run-off is taking place, essential information for Precision Substrate Irrigation.

To complete the "picture" temperature and relative humidity sensors can be added to the data logger in the probe electronics to see what impact the protected environment is having on plant water demand, and PAR light sensors can highlight the effect the glass or polythene is having on light within the growing environment.

Summary - The Essential steps to Precision Irrigation in Substrate cropping

  • Have your site GPS-surveyed - Agri-tech's surveying service will create a "GPS picture" of your site
  • Surveyed data to be used by irrigation team and / or designer to ensure correct system specification
  • Once installed the DNL devices where needed are plcaed exactly where required within the irrigaiton block - preventing drain down
  • Use the "Squeeze test" as well as hand held moisture meter to determine variation and field averages
  • Strategic positioning of the Agri-tech Continual Monitoring probes from Sentek will feed live moisture data 24/7 directly to your PC or SMART device
  • Enables the irrigation team to react to changing weather conditions
  • Watch your plants "wake up in the morninig and go to sleep at night" - essential to understand for Precision Irrigation of your crops

If you're interested this is what we need from you;

  1. Irrigation system details
  2. Regular squeeze test videos (WattsApp) togehter with EC in, EC out and runoff data
  3. Scheduled weekly consultation on farm / Via Skype / Zoom
  4. And most importantly the motivation and desire to be the best at what you do