How to Grow Residue Free Vegetables Using IoT
In a world where consumers are becoming more and more aware of what they eat, residue-free vegetables are in high demand. Residues on vegetables and fruits are a result of excessive use of pesticides or fertilisers absorbed by the plant. Residue-free does not strictly mean the absence of pesticide traces but is below the level that has proved harmful when consumed. Excess agrochemicals are not only detrimental to human health, but they also cause long-lasting effects on the environment:
Decreased Soil Quality: Soil quality has worsened due to increased application of chemical fertilisers, especially urea, muriate of potash, and single super phosphate (SSP). There are various risks to soil health: soil compaction, acidification, erosion, contamination, salinization, and decline in organic matter, which can affect phosphorus and nitrogen losses to water and air.
Kills Soil Microbes: Many pesticides can kill beneficial microorganisms that-break down organic material and aid in plant growth-more than just their intended targets.
Pest Resistance: Repeated use of the same class of pesticides can cause changes in a pest's gene pool. When a pesticide is first used, a small proportion of the pest population may survive exposure to the material. These individuals pass along the resistant gene to the next generation. Subsequent uses of the pesticide increase the proportion of less-susceptible individuals in the population and gradually develop complete resistance to the pesticide. The two-spotted spider mite, for instance, is a pest of most fruit crops and is notorious for rapidly developing resistance to miticides.
Conventionally, there is no method for farmers to determine how much water their field needs and they tend to over-irrigate their crops. They add fertilisers which as a result, leach out, making it difficult for the plants to absorb them. This has visible detrimental effects to plant health and farmers mistakenly take it as a sign of ‘more fertiliser needed’. High soil moisture resists plants to take up critical micronutrients like magnesium and potassium from the soil. This not only declines plant growth but also makes them more susceptible to pests and diseases and the vicious cycle of using more chemicals than needed, goes on.
How does Yuktix’s data help growers cut down on agrochemicals?
Irrigation Advisory: Poor irrigation management increases the potential for root diseases. Over irrigation also leads to leaching - loss of water-soluble plant nutrients from the soil. This severely affects plant growth. Yuktix deploys various soil sensors that identify respective soil field capacity and wilting point. This helps to analyse the irrigation patterns.
Irrigation Advisory provided to one of our growers on the Yuktix App.
Disease and Pest Forecasts: About 40 per cent of global crop production are lost to pests. Yuktix GidaBits® uses disease models to calculate the prevalence of a disease. Early warning of pest and disease infestation will help in implementing proper control measures and further spreading.
Disease and Pest Management Advisory provided to one of our growers one the Yuktix App.
Weather Forecasts: Many times, fertiliser applied is not efficiently used by crops due to lack of moisture at application or rain showers immediately afterwards washes away the fertilisers applied. Yuktix GidaBits® measures real-time field parameters through various sensors such as - wind speed & direction, rainfall, solar radiation, light intensity, temperature, humidity etc. Weather forecasts enhance the efficiency of fertiliser application by 40-50%.
Weather Forecast provided to one of our growers on the Yuktix App.
Delta T timings: With the average tank of pesticide being 90 to 99.5% water, evaporation plays an important role in both droplet size and active ingredient concentration. Yuktix calculates best spray timings using computation models. This increases the effectiveness of sprays in less amounts.
With the urgent requirement for sustainable practices, it would be an accurate assumption to call residue-free farming the answer to most farm-related concerns. Its all-encompassing benefits that address the farm, the farmer, and the consumer, makes it a highly attractive technique. By making agriculture walk hand in hand with technology, residue-free farming leads to top-notch produce and simultaneously safeguards the environment.
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