Sergei Vasiliev, candidate of technical sciences,
Associate Professor of the Department "Agricultural machines and mechanization of animal husbandry" Samara State Agrarian University
An agricultural producer who uses irrigation on his production sites constantly has to look for answers to the questions: when is it most efficient to irrigate and in what volume? The right answer to them can always be prompted by Nero, a soil temperature and moisture monitoring device developed by Kaipos. The device has passed laboratory tests on the basis of Samara State Agrarian University.
Distinctive features of the proposed device are: autonomy (it does not require connection to the mains and works for 36 days even without recharging from solar energy), configurable data transmission via GSM channel, open IP protocol operation, ease of installation and operation, the possibility of completing with various sensors at the request of the user. Due to the monolithic design, installation is carried out within three minutes, dismantling takes no more than a minute.
Rice. 1. Appliance Nero for soil moisture and temperature monitoring
The device consists (Fig. 1) of a housing, inside which there are two sensors for measuring temperature and soil moisture. They are located in such a way that moisture measurement occurs in the root layer, i.e. at a depth of 10 to 30 cm, and in some cases from 10 to 50 cm. They work on the principle of measuring the electrical conductivity of the soil (taking into account its granulometric composition and density). A temperature and humidity sensor is installed in the upper part of the device, there is also a board for connecting all sensors with a GSM module, a rechargeable battery and a solar panel for recharging. The modular design allows you to additionally install a rain gauge (Fig. 2, 3) without significant changes in the design, this makes it possible to simultaneously monitor soil moisture and temperature, precipitation, as well as air temperature and humidity.
The data from the sensors are taken every 60 seconds and recorded on the internal memory of the built-in board, then sent via a GSM channel to the Agrokeep intelligent platform. In case of unstable reception or complete loss of the network, the data is stored for several months in the internal memory and, under favorable conditions, is immediately transmitted. Thus, the user is presented with both numerical values and a graph of soil moisture at different horizons (Fig. 2, 3). Moreover, the intelligent platform makes it possible to select the parameters of interest (volume, absolute or relative humidity).
To simplify the use of the irrigation optimization system, four zones are highlighted on the graph: 1 - red zone (wilting point), 2 - yellow zone (beginning of stress), 3 - green zone (optimal humidity), 4 - blue zone (least moisture capacity). The graph also records the amount of precipitation (blue bars) that has entered the soil as rain or through irrigation. Thus, for optimal development of the cultivated crop, the curves on the graph obtained from sensors in the soil should be in the green zone. As soon as the lower sensor moisture curve drops to the red zone (withering point), it is necessary to start irrigating at the rate required for a particular area of the field.
The analysis of the obtained data makes it possible to monitor the accumulation of water in the soil and, if necessary, perform operations to regulate its level - for example, perform inter-row loosening in case of formation of a crust that prevents the penetration of moisture into the lower horizons.
Currently, several enterprises of the Samara region, such as Scorpion LLC, Sev 07 LLC, Zhitnitsa LLC, Orlovka-AIC LLC, already use these devices to optimize irrigation. The results of their activities for 2021 show that the use of Kaipos sensors and the Agrokeep intelligent platform will reduce the cost of water and electricity by an average of 25%, which in monetary terms is about 35000 rubles. from one circle of a sprinkling machine with a working width of 800 meters. In addition, constant monitoring of the irrigation process disciplines operators, which is important for the successful operation of any production.
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