IT field monitoring in a Japanese system of rice intensification (J-SRI)
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A demonstration study on Information Technology (IT) field monitoring was conducted in a rice field under the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) environment in Shinshiro City, Aichi Prefecture, Japan. The IT system used in this study consisted of an intelligent sensor node web-server that is equipped with in situ camera and sensor networks for agrometeorological, soil, and plant growth monitoring. Dynamic changes in soil moisture, water level, agrometeorological, and environmental conditions were measured and monitored. With this precision farming set-up, understanding and easy assessment of the salient field conditions and phenomena such as cyclic soil wetting and drying as well as critical crop growth stages were made possible. Based on the findings of the demonstration experiment, the system was effective, reliable, and efficient in monitoring soil moisture parameters and agrometeorological information in remote rice field environment. The actual field conditions were captured well by a combination of images, numerical, and graphical data sets. With this precise information, the frequency of irrigation was found to be every 7 days. The rice field was irrigated up to a moisture level of 0.592 m3/m3 (~600 mV) and allowed to be depleted to a moisture level of 0.417 m3/m3 (~400 mV). With this alternate drying and wetting method (AWD), a 25.71% of irrigation water was saved. In this study, rice production was made more scientific and more reliable. Hence, the use of IT field monitoring system represented a viable medium for the realization of better rice productivity which leads to the ethic of sustainable agriculture.
KeywordsPrecision farming Water savings Rice field environment Sensors Alternate wetting and drying
Profound gratitude is extended to the Matsumae International Foundation (MIF), Japan, for funding some of the logistics needed in the research study.
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