It ‘s hard to argue with the challenges – both financially and logistically – that water and it’s increasing scarcity play on the fate of agricultural businesses worldwide. In California, multi-year droughts have made irrigation and water rights/accessibility one of the most valuable commodities next to the land itself, while in India, water right disputes have led to not only riots but deaths.
Amazingly, a vast majority of growers have little to no information about how much water they need to irrigate their crops effectively. Most typically are watering all parts of their fields equally, regardless of soil type and actual moisture levels, leading to wasted water and increased costs.
Our CEO, Bob Glatz, and VP of Engineering, Bret Beringer, spend time last week in California’s San Joaquin Valley reviewing the current state-of-the-art in sensors deployed by grape and plum growers to determine needs that can be addressed by Fybr. Given the water crisis in California’s Central Valley, farmers are looking for cost-effective ways to monitor water usage and determine the effectiveness of their irrigation strategy.
The challenge is existing systems are very expensive and limited in functionality, limiting the possible deployment density and overall efficiency of a moisture and irrigation monitoring system.
Our FybrLynk, combined with the Fybr Gateway and Platform allows for much broader, cost-effective deployment of multiple sensor types, enabling growers to deploy custom-built sensor arrays to monitor information unique to a particular crop or environment. With the FybrLynk, farmers can monitor soil moisture at various depths, the temperature in the fields, hyper-local weather, electrical conductivity, water quality, the efficiency of irrigation systems, etc. Most importantly, these networks can be custom tailored and deployed in densities that meet each farmer’s specific needs while providing much broader coverage of existing technologies.
Given population growth and urbanization trends, farmers will need to produce more than double today’s production per acre by 2030. And, depending on global warming trends, they may need to do so with less water. We believe the FybrLynk can help farmers become more productive at a much lower cost and with greater insights than existing technology allows.