Satellite Irrigation - Part Two
Yesterday we reported about Dr. Wim Bastiaanssen and his company Irriwatch that is helping farmers make irrigation decisions via satellite. The question you may be asking about this is “how?”. The secret, Bastiaanssen says, lies in calculating the difference between the leaf temperature and the air temperature.
Bastiaanssen… “We hear about weather forecasts and we look outside and we think there is a certain temperature, but that is the air temperature. The leaf temperature can be up to 10 or 20 degrees different. And the leaf temperature is an indicator on the water availability. So if a leaf has a lot of access to water and moisture, then it's having more evaporation and it cools down. So that is something that we really have to measure. We cannot model that. We cannot estimate that, because it depends on the crop development. Maybe there is a disease in that crop, or maybe there is a salt soil salinity challenge. Maybe that crop has insufficient moisture. You know, it all changes that temperature.”
Bastiaanssen spent decades validating his ideas in academia and now the technology is available to growers via his new company, Irriwatch.