Visualize the potato's thirst

... and save water and costs. Meteotest has implemented a website for a multi-year project of the College of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL in Zollikofen, which helps farmers to optimize the soil moisture relevant to plant growth.

For the plant's growth it is crucial that it has enough water in the root area. The water comes either from precipitation or as artificial irrigation. Dry summers such as 2018 pose multiple challenges for irrigation: agriculture requires massively more water, while the water levels in the waters are very low due to the shortage of precipitation. Last but not least, the additional costs cause the producers noticeably higher production costs.

Dry summers such as 2018 pose multiple challenges for irrigation.

On behalf of the Confederation and the cantons, the HAFL is supporting a nationwide project to help farmers find conclusive answers to questions about optimizing the irrigation of their fields. For this, the HAFL relies on technical means. With soil probes, the water available for the roots is measured and sent via mobile radio to a server and evaluated.

The results are published live on a website (, as graphs and can be viewed by the producers in the office or by mobile phone at any time. In deciding when and how to irrigate, the farmer can now, in addition to his experience, rely on objective measurement data and scientific findings on the optimal water supply.

For the implementation, the Holland-based company RMA supplies the agricultural technology and data management. Meteotest developed the clear design of the presentation and the implementation of the website.

    Stephan Loser

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    Stephan Loser

    Head of Digital Services

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