Anthony (Tony) Davoren is a Director of Aqualinc with responsibility for the HydroServices business unit that provides irrigation and environmental management services; soil moisture, and water level and water meter monitoring.
Tony’s expertise in and knowledge of soils and hydraulic properties, irrigation systems and design, and crop water demand has been applied and enhanced over the last 35 years working in these fields.
We asked Tony to talk about automating irrigation – from the soil to the sprinkler and round again. He’s doing just that at LandWISE 2017: Are we ready for automation?
Tony says several questions need to be asked and honest answers or solutions given:
- Are we and you ready?
- What do we need?
- Is automating irrigation management wise or the right solution?
Are we or you ready?
When considering automating irrigation management, both the provider and the user must be an “innovators”; i.e. they must be in the top 2.5% of the industry. It may be that some “early adopters”, the next 13.5% of the industry, might be ready for the technology and its application to automate irrigation management.
What do we need?
Because it will be the innovators who adopt and field prove any technologies, these technologies must be robust and proven with a sound scientific backing. Innovators will identify the financial benefits of the automation, which needs:
- Well-designed irrigation systems
- High uniformity irrigation systems
- Well maintained irrigation systems
- Precise soil moisture and/or crop monitoring systems
- Interface “model” to irrigation controller
Are these all in place?
Is automation wise or the right solution?
Tony established HydroServices providing on-farm irrigation management services based on in situ soil moisture measurements in Canterbury, Pukekohe, Waikato, Gisborne, Hawkes Bay, Manawatu, Wairarapa and Central Otago. During this he provided specialist soil moisture monitoring for Foundation for Arable Research, LandWISE, Crown Research Institutes, Regional Councils, Clandeboye Dairy Factory and others.
Tony completed his PhD in Engineering Science at Washington State University, Pullman, USA.