The importance of agricultural water saving irrigation cannot be overstated. It plays a critical role in ensuring sustainable agricultural practices and food security for the nation. Agricultural development in China heavily relies on water resources. However, as a water-scarce country, there has always been a contradiction between agricultural water use and water supply. By 2020, less than 50% of the total irrigation area in China was covered by water saving irrigation projects. Almost half of the arable land in the country still uses outdated irrigation methods, leading to high water consumption and low irrigation efficiency.
Thus, the Chinese government has been deploying the construction of high-standard farmland since 2012. This initiative aims to establish stable and high-yield farmland, resilient to droughts and floods, by ensuring proper irrigation and soil management.
Ningxia, China experiences a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The region receives limited precipitation, primarily concentrated in the summer months, making it a semi-arid area prone to drought. These conditions create favorable circumstances for crop growth, hence the critical need for an efficient water saving irrigation system.
Milesight collaborated with our partner and conducted in-depth field surveys and tests in Ningxia. Based on the findings, they deployed the UG67 Outdoor LoRaWAN® Gateway and UC511 LoRaWAN® Solenoid Valve Controller on farmland to establish a water saving irrigation network for crops including corn, potatoes, cauliflower and celery.
Milesight UC511 LoRaWAN® Solenoid Valve Controller has rich interfaces, allowing it to connect with two solenoid valves per device. The GPIO interface of the device collects the status of the solenoid valves and reports it to the client's mobile app/PC through the UG67 LoRaWAN® gateway. This enables the remote control of the solenoid valves by agricultural field managers through the mobile app or computer.
UC511 controller is equipped with built-in batteries and solar panel, ensuring a power supply without the need for external connections. The devices can also limit charging current in low-temperature conditions, protecting the batteries from damage. Additionally, the UG67 gateway supports external solar power systems, resolving the power supply challenge. The devices also support multicast, enabling users to remotely control multiple valves, significantly reducing labor costs and optimizing water saving irrigation, leading to time and effort savings.
UG67 Outdoor LoRaWAN® Gateway
- IP67 Rating
- 64-bit Quad-Core Processor
- New SX1302 LoRa Chip
- Built-in Supercapacitor
- Multiple Backhaul Connectivities
- Internal Antenna Design
- Embedded Network Server
- Compatible with Multiple Network Servers
- Global LoRaWAN® Frequency Plans
UC511 LoRaWAN® Solenoid Valve Controller
- Solenoid Valve Control
- Water Flow Monitoring
- IP67 Waterproof
- Long Battery Life
Benefits of the Water Saving Irrigation Solution
- Increased Crop Yield
By providing precise control over water delivery to crops based on real-time data, the system ensured that each plant received the optimal amount of water required for healthy growth. This led to improved crop health, reduced water stress, and ultimately higher yields for farmers.
One of the significant advantages of remote control irrigation is its cost-effectiveness. By implementing this technology, farmers can reduce labor costs significantly. With remote control irrigation, tasks such as turning on and off the water supply or adjusting the irrigation schedule can be automated, saving time and money.
- Maximizing Water Resource Utilization
Moreover, remote control irrigation also improves water resource utilization. By using sensors and data analytics, farmers can optimize the irrigation process based on real-time weather conditions and plant water requirements. This precision in water management helps to avoid water wastage and ensures that plants receive just the right amount of water they need to thrive.
- Wireless Deployment
LoRaWAN®-based products require no wiring, making the deployment simple and fast. Farmers can easily install and configure the remote control components without the hassle of wiring, reducing installation time and costs. LoRaWAN® also provides flexibility in the placement of sensors and control devices. Farmers can strategically position these components in various locations across their fields, ensuring comprehensive coverage and accurate data collection.
- High Scalability
The solution based on LoRaWAN® can be easily replicated and quickly applied in other agricultural irrigation applications. This feature is beneficial for agricultural businesses that operate across multiple locations or for research institutions aiming to test and implement remote control irrigation in diverse agricultural settings. The standardized nature of LoRaWAN® technology ensures that the replicated systems are compatible and function reliably, making it easier for farmers to adopt this technology on a broader scale.
- Environmental Sustainability
This case also contributed to environmental sustainability by promoting responsible water usage and reducing the overall environmental impact of agricultural practices. By conserving water resources and optimizing irrigation, farmers contributed to the protection of local ecosystems and natural habitats.
Why Choose LoRaWAN® Technology?
The choice of LoRaWAN® technology for the water saving irrigation solution offers a reliable, cost-effective, and scalable solution with long-range communication capabilities. Its low power consumption, robustness, and flexibility make it well-suited for the challenging agricultural conditions in Ningxia, China, and enable efficient water resource utilization for sustainable and high-yield farmland development.