Sol Chip partners with Soonapse to deliver a comprehensive solution for automatic and crop-specific irrigation management

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Combining advanced sensors and AI algorithms, farmers and growers gain better crops while reducing water consumption and chemical usage.

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin, and ROME, Italy, Apr 7th, 2021. Today, Sol Chip, a leading precision agriculture company and inventor of the LightChip™ announced a partnership with Soonapse creator of advanced big data and agricultural AI platforms and inventor of Ploovium®, to deliver unique irrigation and salinity management solution. The solution, combining state-of-the-art sensing, decision support and control is optimized for dozens of different crops, taking the unique ontology of each crop into account.

Determining the optimal irrigation schedule is as important as it is difficult. It is important because proper irrigation allows crops to reach their genetic potential without wasting valuable water or chemicals, avoiding over-irrigation that enhances disease exposure. It is difficult because optimal irrigation depends on numerous parameters: precise weather data and forecasts, soil composition, the particular ontology of the plant, evapotranspiration and more.

Sol Chip and Soonapse have combined to simplify this critical process, as well as to manage additional parameters such as salinity. The solution has three parts: sensing, decision support and control.

  • Sensing is based on Sol Chip’s unique SolTag™ platform. Powered by an everlasting solar battery, SolTag works with multiple sensors – from soil moisture to NPK to temperature and fruit size – to provide near-real-time reports of field conditions. SolTag sends these measurements using a LoRaWAN link to gateways up to 15 kilometers away.
  • Decision support uses Soonapse’s unique Ploovium® system that integrates data from the Sol Chip systems with weather forecasts coming either from Sol Chip-powered stations or external weather services. Ploovium® uses rolling 5-day weather forecasts to recommend an optimal irrigation schedule. Moreover, Ploovium® continuously improves the models by comparing forecasted and actual values, thus learning the soil composition and its hydric behavior. The recommended irrigation plan is presented for human approval.
  • Control is provided by the self-powered SolTag devices which not only interface with sensors but can also power valves and control switches and actuators. This allows farmers and growers to remotely execute the irrigation plans.

The system is optimized for several crops including alfalfa, asparagus, broccoli, cabbage, corn, fava bean, dates, grapes, lavender, melon, potato, rosemary, soybean, thistle, tomato, and zucchini. Additional crops can be added quickly based on customer demand.

The system is available today from Sol Chip and Soonapse.