Eyal Cohen- Naandanjain
As competition in the horticulture market increases farmers worldwide must maximize the crop yield while simultaneously cutting production costs. With this aim in mind greater efficiency in the use of water and fertilizers is essential as these inputs critically influence the crop’s yield and quality as well as costs.
The “Gavish” system, produced only in Israel, offers such a solution as its irrigation controller can control the irrigation either separately or together with liquid fertilizers (fertigation).
The benefits of “Gavish”:
– Easy to operate – the system offers maximum precision, which is very important when applying liquid fertilizers.
– The system allows for flexibility when alternating between different fertilizer types and fertilizer ratios depending on weather, crop stage, water quality and other factors.
– In greenhouses accessories for climate control including thermal curtains, mist generators, wet curtains and fans can be controlled too.
– The system can be operated with a computer/smart phone or directly with an on-site controller.
– The system provides fertigation execution monitoring and documentation.
The system’s computer software maintains the information concerning the fertigation both during the fertigation cycle and after its completion. This includes the fertilizer’s flow rates and the total quantities used by different fertilizers.
Additionally, the fertigation can be adjusted to the soil type, climate, specific crop and growth phases.
Furthermore, the system has two safety controllers to limit the injection of the fertilizer or halt the acidification whenever necessary.
Case study – A farm in Kenya where fresh herbs are grown for export.
This large estate, located near the Athi River, covers an area of about 175 acres (70 hectares). The farm grows fresh herbs, carnations and roses, all for export to Europe; in an open field on soil as well as in greenhouses on hydroponic systems.
About a decade ago the farm introduced automation with the Gavish system.
This system enabled the farm to cope with a water supply from several boreholes with varying water qualities by adjusting the fertigation program accordingly.
Advantage of size – after Jain purchased the “Gavish” Company the international distribution by the Jain Company led to an increase in sales.
Recently Jain purchased another company with systems for remote monitoring of climate and soil parameters. In the future the abilities of this company’s systems will be integrated into the “Gavish” system.
This will allow the farmer to receive online field conditions information in order to support fertigation decisions for a more precise and efficient fertigation.