Posted on 1 June 2016
The agricultural sector worldwide is facing the challenge to reduce irrigation water consumption while maintaining or increasing production levels. To be able to improve irrigation water management, up-to-date and accurate information on the crop water, growth and nutrient status is crucial. Such data can be provided using satellites (www.fruitlook.co.za).
FruitLook is an open online platform to monitor vineyards and orchards, based on satellite imagery and weather information. The platform provides farmers weekly updates on crop growth, crop water use and leaf nitrogen content during the growth season. A well-informed farmer makes better decisions in farm resource management, which eventually leads to more efficient water use on their farm.
FruitLook triggers conscious use of fresh water supplies within the farming community. In a recent questionnaire, more than half of the respondents experienced that their water use efficiency increased by 10 to 30 % as a result of using FruitLook. A decrease in irrigation water application (and additional fuel costs for pumping) can go hand-in-hand with increasing farmer revenues and environmental sustainability. FruitLook makes these opportunities visible to the end-user.
- FruitLook covers the main fruit production areas of the Western Cape. More than 170,000 hectares of fruit crop data is available each week.
- FruitLook provides information on 96 000 ha of wine grapes, 12 000ha of table grapes, 30 000ha of deciduous fruit, 11 000ha of citrus and 16 000ha of stone fruit.
- FruitLook 2015-16 supports over 270 active users who access more than 22 500 hectares of satellite based information on a field by field basis.
Following the FruitLook 2014-15 season, more than half of the respondents to a questionnaire indicated their water use efficiency increased by 10 to 30% due to FruitLook.