FloraPulse informs orchard growers when to irrigate
It’s time to publish your Farm of the Future report. I am Tim Hammerich.
The simple question of when to irrigate is not as simple to answer as it seems. Of course, there are ways to measure soil moisture, evapotranspiration, etc., but these indirect methods don’t always lead to the correct answer. California-based FloraPulse thinks it has found the secret with its blood pressure monitor technology. Founder and CEO Michael Santiago commercialized the product based on research he was doing for his doctorate at Cornell.
Santiago… “FloraPulse has really developed chip-based sensors that go into the trunk of the tree and measure the water status or the water potential of the tree. And they give the most accurate information on water conditions so the grower knows when to irrigate. We have seen growers using our products save 50% water, increase yields by up to 15%, which generates a lot of value. So yes, this is the holy grail of measuring water in trees.
Unlike many other sensors, FloraPulse can measure actual water potential to allow trees to notify growers when they need irrigation.
Santiago… “It’s a micro tensiometer, which has the advantage of directly measuring the water potential or the water state of the tree, which holds the most precise information for irrigation. So, just as you can measure blood pressure in a human, you can measure water potential in a tree. And then, you know, the pressure is too high or too low, you want to keep it within a certain range.
More information can be found on their website www.FloraPulse.com.