PeltoSäätö - in English
FieldControl – Intelligent Field Moisture Management Pilots
Moisture in agricultural fields can be controlled by means of subsurface drainage systems using the water needs of the plants, weather conditions and the moisture situation of the field as guidelines. At present, the regulation possibilities of drainage wells are not fully utilized. The challenge is that the adjustment actions require movement between field areas, which causes extra work and emissions. Movement among crops also increases the risk of the spread of plant diseases. Drainage adjustment also require information on the moisture situation in the field, an understanding of the soil behavior, and an estimate of the future weather conditions.
When the moisture conditions in the field are optimal for growth, the carbon sequestration in the soil becomes more efficient. Raising the groundwater level in peat fields slows down the decomposition of peat and thus reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Controlled drainage can also affect nutrient leaching and surface runoff.
The main goal of the FieldControl project is to test remote monitoring and remote control of subsurface drainage systems in authentic production conditions. The systems to test are based on the results of the TIMAKO project of the University of Oulu.
Pilots will be conducted on farms in Kannus and Nivala. Technological development is being carried out in other ongoing research projects. The latest information on field water management technologies is disseminated to farmers, students, and stakeholders. At the same time, feedback and user experiences are received from farmers to support the technological development.
As a result of the project, it will be possible to verify the practical benefits and usability of a remotely controlled moisture management system in farm conditions. The proliferation of subsurface drainage systems and more efficient use of automatic control will increase crop security, produce environmental benefits, improve work efficiency and yields, and increase the competitiveness of farms.