Dawson, Georgia — A new version of Irrigator Pro will be available for free in the upcoming 2019 crop season. A team of partners has been working to update the Irrigator Pro platform to increase adoption and accessibility for growers. Now, Irrigator Pro is available to download as a smartphone application in the Apple iOS and Google Play stores. A new cloud-based website platform will also launch in 2019.
Irrigator Pro is an irrigation scheduling tool for peanuts, corn, and cotton developed by the USDA Agricultural Research Service National Peanut Research Laboratory (Peanut Lab). Irrigator Pro is an expert system designed to provide recommendations based on scientific data resulting in conservation-minded irrigation management while maintaining high yields.
The Flint River Soil and Water Conservation District, with funding from USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), partnered with the Peanut Lab and University of Georgia (UGA) to develop a smartphone app and cloud-based web platform for Irrigator Pro. Irrigator Pro is a trusted tool by farmers, crop consultants, Extension agents, and researchers across the Southeast. The original version is a desktop software that requires manual reading of soil moisture sensors in the field and manual data entry. The new smartphone app and cloud platform have automated the data collection process, integrating remote upload of soil moisture, soil temperature, and rainfall data with the Irrigator Pro model through the app and cloud platform. The new version has been in beta testing for the last two crop seasons to ensure consistency and accuracy.
In a 2018 study at the UGA Stripling Irrigation Research Park in Camilla, researchers evaluated several irrigation scheduling methods for peanuts. The new version of Irrigator Pro out-performed all of the treatments in yield and irrigation water use efficiency.
Visit flintriverswcd.org/irrigator-pro to learn more about Irrigator Pro and for updates related to the new version.
Photograph courtesy of Matt Hanner