AquaSpy increases cotton farming profitability
We can’t make it rain, but we can help you best utilize the water you do have
The United States is the world’s leading cotton exporter. In August 2019-July 2020—the United States produced nearly 20 million bales of cotton, representing about $7 billion in total value (lint plus seed) (source: USDA ERS).
The brutal reality is that 2022 has been a challenging year for cotton growers. And while we can’t make it rain, AquaSpy technology supports cotton farming in three key ways that help with crop management and increase farm profitability: monitoring soil temperature and salinity, as well as helping to minimize the amount of water applied to the crop and making sure it’s utilizing the water it gets.
Soil Temperature and Cotton
At the start of the season, cotton growers have to be diligent about not planting too early; if the seeds are put into soil that is too cold the seedlings can be vulnerable to chilling injury. The entire crop can suffer in quality and quality. Growers need accurate data for soil temperature at planting depth over many contiguous days in order to make the decision to plant. This can require many trips to the field to make manual measurements at multiple depths and locations or relying on locally published data. As there is no crop in the ground, if the soil has already been prepared (burn-down, pest control, tillage etc.), then it can be difficult to make the trip worthwhile, and the one thing in the world a grower can never waste is time. AquaSpy below-ground technology can help tell growers exactly when the right time is to plant cotton seeds.
For many cotton growers, especially in places like Texas, which leads the nation in cotton production, soil salinity is becoming an issue. Though cotton is relatively salt tolerant as crops go, when a field is irrigated with diverted river water or well water, if that water is high in salt then the water eventually evaporates away and leaves an increasing concentration of salt. Cotton is relatively resistant to salinity, but like every other crop, its ability to absorb moisture from the soil will be impacted when the salt balance reaches a certain point. Growers need to be aware of the issue when soil salinity starts to rise, particularly in years when droughts don’t bring soil cleansing rain. AquaSpy technology can give growers soil salinity insights, layer by layer beneath the soil, so they can be alert to the fact before it harms the plants.
Optimize Water Application and Consumption
As the drought deepens in the South and West, many cotton growers who are dryland cotton farming have experienced crop loss. For those who are irrigating, especially when the daytime temperatures are high, being able to know when the crop needs water, and how much water it’s consuming is critical, and that’s another insight that AquaSpy technology can bring.
Today’s cotton grower has many data needs that begin well before planting, and little time to waste at the start of the season and throughout. The intelligent, wireless system offered by AquaSpy places sensors in the soil and connects them via the Cloud to the grower’s mobile device or desktop. The grower gets accurate temperature, salinity and soil moisture data throughout the day, without needing to visit the field, enabling them to make informed choices that save time, minimizes inputs, and maximizes profitability for cotton farming. Easy to install, affordable and adaptable to a variety of crops, Crophesy by AquaSpy has a unique, pay as you grow service subscription. Crophesy offers a unique flexible subscription plan that gives growers the flexibility and peace of mind to manage the service according to their unique growing environment, crop rotation, and seasonality.