SMARTWATER project aims to boost adoption of smart water management techniques in BiH agriculture, in order to address issues like climate change and drought, that prevent national agriculture improvement.
We are already progressing in this challenge and one of the activities is using a Bluleaf, a software application designed and developed by Sysman Progetti & Servizi in order to provide advance solutions in the field of digital agriculture.
The development of Bluleaf started in 2010 thanks to a research project called Hydrotech, during the years many improvements have been made in terms of usability and new features implemented. Today the software is on the market at national (Italian) and international level with more than 160 farms using Bluleaf.
Sysman Progetti & Servizi was founded in 1994 as a highly specialised IT services company; thanks to the experience gained through the years Sysman is today one of the most recognized Italian companies in the file of digital agriculture. The company count three offices located in Mesagne, Bari and Rome and more than 30 employs.
It is not easy to define Bluleaf in short terms, according to the classical definition Bluleaf is a DSS (Decisional Support System) designed to optimize the agronomical input in order help the farmer to take the best possible decision during farming activities. It is also a system for quality control.
Bluleaf features are organized in modules as described as follow:
The irrigation module is based on the crop water balance, supported by on field data, to give water management support to the farmer in order to optimize the water usage and crop quality.
Through the Nutritional balance it is possible to know and provide just what the crops needs in terms of nutrients.
Crop defence Module
The crop defence module provide functionality for disease forecast and treatment recording in order to protect the crops and respect the environment.
Through the management module it is possible to Register and consult crop treatments and irrigations from the beginning to the end of the season.
Quality control Module
Through the quality module it is possible to monitor the crops quality parameter during the season and assure the required product quality standards.
Georeferencing plots and production units, processing Vigor yield, stress maps, scheduling Variable Rate interventions (VRT) etc.
The logic behind the Bluleaf irrigation module can be summarized through the following points:
- Sensors detect on-field data; Bluleaf needs an on-field weather station to collect weather data;
- The water balance is calculated by the mathematical model;
- The DSS provide the advice;
- the user can approve or denies (or modifies) the schedule proposed by the DSS;
In SMARTWATER project Sysman oversees leading the Work Package five that includs the communication and dissemination activities such as the development of the project website and a specific ICT (Information and Communications Technology) dissemination and communication platform to collect and spread project results.
Besides, another purpose of Sysman in SMARTWATER is to provide Bluleaf to the project partners for experimental activities to test the software functionalities in new environments and spread the knowledge of the product.
SMARTWATER will test Bluleaf in the fields of crop water requirements and irrigation scheduling, on-field data acquisition, transmission and management, and application of web and app tools for real-time irrigation management. The system combines agronomic, engineering, environmental and economic aspects of water management, aims to improve the eco-efficiency of agricultural water use and may be applied at both farm and irrigation district scales using the advanced technological solutions for the continuous smart (sensor-based) monitoring of the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum and the remote control of irrigation supply networks. Bluleaf has already been tested at several locations in Southern and Central Italy, Malta, and Lebanon, confirming its robustness and its capability to save water and energy when compared to traditional irrigation practices.
SMARTWATER will use the Bluleaf platform to integrate real-time weather data, available at the agro-meteorological stations in BH, with the specific soil, crop, and irrigation system data to create different on-farm irrigation scenarios resembling the effective situation on the ground.
A link to Bluleaf DSS and real-time BH weather data will be available through the project website and a smartphone app. The overall objective is to promote the use of new technological solutions (i.e., smartphone irrigation service) in the practice and to demonstrate their advantage in respect to traditional irrigation scheduling methods.