Netafim annonced successful results of a pilot project of its uManage platform, which helps farmers compile and analyze data, as well as monitor and record irrigation/fertilizer performance and yields. The software enables growers to make decisions based on analysis of factors such as wind direction, weather forecast, temperature, radiation, soil moisture and fertilizer. The pilot project, using a beta version of uManage, was carried out at dozens of farms in countries including the United States, Israel, Italy, Holland, Brazil and France.
Adi Yefet, head of the water sector at Israel NewTech, congratulated the company: “Netafim’s uManage platform is proof that innovation comes not only from startups, but also from Israel’s most established water technology companies. Water efficiency in agriculture is becoming more and more essential in many place in the globe, and we’re glad to see the uManage platform proving itself in the field,” said Yefet.
The uManage Platform was covered in Israel 21c: “The project showed how uManage facilitates their work, improves their crop quality and yield and, above all, reduces their water and fertilizer consumption,” says Lior Doron, Netafim’s director of crop management technology.
“Drip irrigation is a very precise system regarding flow rate, and farmers need a ‘brain’ controlling the system to make sure they irrigate at the right time and in the right amount,” Doron tells Israel21c.
Netafim began developing the uniquely all-encompassing, open-interface uManage platform about three years ago. It’s available in the form of software as a service (SAS) for $330 per year. The platform sends continuous data between the irrigation controller and sensors in the field and the monitoring station in the office. In coordination with weather stations, algorithms calculate parameters such as soil wetness and the dew point, suggesting when farmers should start or stop irrigation. It will even help them detect leakages or other problems in the irrigation infrastructure, and allow them to take action remotely.
Sales of uManage began only in May, yet Netafim is already planning the next iteration. “We will soon be upgrading uManage with a decision-support module that will advise farmers as to which crops should be given highest priority, while considering future parameters such as annual weather forecast. In this way, the system will actually optimize the farmers’ decision-making process.”
Netafim also plans to approach suppliers of seeds, fertilizer and pesticides to integrate their individual management systems into uManage so it will truly be a one-stop-shop solution for growers. “We have knowledge only in irrigation, so we designed uManage with an open interface so others can join in to bring growers what they need,” Doron says.
Doron reports “huge interest from other countries.” He points out that many growers depend on the advice of experts who aren’t local, and the uManage platform will allow them to share real-time data via smartphone with their advisers regardless of location.
Netafim has 27 subsidiaries, 16 manufacturing plants and more than 4,000 employees worldwide, delivering its solutions for irrigation and crop management to customers in 110 different countries – and not just for agriculture but also for landscaping and mining applications.
For the full Israel21c article click here.