Substrate Irrigation Management

Utilise our Substrate Management System to precisely match your 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 the field to your mobile device via your secure login area every 1/4 hr 24/7 365
  • SMART Sensors 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


The "hub" of all data is the Substrate Dashboard

                                Moisture Probe Data                                   Agronomics Data                                                         Climate Data 

The Dashboard above is split into three sections (see above). The Moisture probe data together with the Climate data is coming in from the SMART sensors in the field. 

The display uses a traffic light system ranging from blue to green, amber and red depending on the sensor data, making the display very visual for quick data analysis

The Agronimics data is being manually entered via the Agri-tech Substrate App. When the User synchronises their data from their device with the database this automatically updates the Dashboard 

Growers therefore have up to date data on their moisture status, Ec pH and run-off, and Climate data including VPD, Growing Degree Hours and Chill where appropriate.

Strategic positioning of the Agri-tech Monitoring 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

Move away from the traditional "24hr" average run-off, and focus on run-off percentage from each and every irrigation event - this enables the irrigation team to achieve "Precision Irrigation".


Automatic run-off station from Agri-tech - How much time are your staff spending emptying drain stations?

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.

The new automatic run-off station is a labour saving device - eliminate the need for your staff to spend time emptying drain stations. Eliminate the opportunity to make the wrong calculation for percentage run-off!

Click into the Field for detailed analysis

Clients have access to 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 to what is being seen in the field. The sort facility, and viewing facility enables user specific settings to be enables. Each client Login has a "notice board" together with a report area for all staff to reference whilst within their login page.

Listed above top is the moisture content graph with the squeeze labels added. The blue zone is where there is plenty of freely available water and where run-off will occur, green zone run-off ceases but there is still freely available water, amber freely available water starting to be in short supply, and the red zone where plant stress is likely to occur. 

Middle graph and bottom table are coming from the Agronomics app indicating pH, Ec and run-off in detail.


Example of the Agri-tech Moisture graphs / report


Example Raspberry Substrate Graphs - with user defined date range facility

  • Rootzone moisture content
  • Auto run-off graph with delivered, run-off and percentage run-off from each individual irrigation event
  • Moisture conent top half of pot and bottom half of pot - essential to determine optimum irrigation shot length 
  • Crop water useage graph inicating the plant's "bell shape" water use curve, together with effect of each irrigation event
  • Pot conductivity at each depth together with pot temperature at each depth
  • Temperature & Humidity graph
  • Vapour Pressure Deficit (VPD) graph with traffic light indicators indicating high / low and optimum VPD values
  • Other graphs available are the Growing Degree Hour (GDH) graph, Chill hours graph and the Strawberry Powdery Mildew model risk graph where applicable.  


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 (WhatsApp) together 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