Strawberries - Quantifying gut feelings in soft fruit production
At Jungle Farm (Alberta, Canada) owner Blaine Staples has set up a 15acre pilot plot on his strawberry and vegetable farm - The purpose of the test is to start monitoring soil moisture levels with an aim of making smarter irrigation decisions and ultimately increase both yield and crop quality.
“With Sensoterra I can get precise and instant information on whether or not my strawberries need water even when it might not be obvious from the plant itself" Blaine Staples, Jungle Farm
- 30 acres strawberry and vegetable farm
- Located in Alberta, Canada
- Quantifying gut feelings into validated decisions
- Measuring at 30 cm (1ft) & 60 cm (2ft) depths
- Connectivity Provider: Senet
Technology is the way forward
The test is on both matted row strawberries and on vegetable and strawberries grown with plastic mulch. Soil moisture data will help him understand how much water actually goes into the plants and how much evaporates. "Everything has been really reliable. I really think that we under irrigate and thereby miss a lot of potential, so rather than water savings I am hoping to bring yield and crop quality up by using Sensoterra sensors,” says Staples.
Improved time management is a positive side effect as with fields spread over a large area, crop and soil inspection are a time consuming factor that can now be monitored remotely
"Spending half a day going around checking the crops and the moisture levels manually is a big job, so if I can get a better idea just from looking at my phone - thats when we can really optimize.”
After harvest he plans on evaluating his crops and comparing results with data on both soil moisture and weather. In this way he can continuously improve crop cycle by crop cycle.