What can data do for your farm?

Farmers are experts – they have incredibly in-depth knowledge of their farms, from soil types and drainage to local weather prediction and seasonal timings.

But like everyone else, there is always room for improvement. With research and careful record-keeping, farmers can make sure they get the best seed for their farms, improve timings of weeding and treatment of pests. This is especially true as climate change makes weather patterns unreliable, pests change and move, and as water tables change.

Keeping accurate records of when crops were sown, transplanted, weeded, treated and harvested, of seed types, weather trends and, of course, irrigation, enables farmers to understand what could be done better the next year, and so increase yields.

By sharing and comparing this data with neighbours, farmers can crowd-source this knowledge. Many communities choose to take this even further, working together on shared farms, and pooling their knowledge, labour and resources.

But it’s not only farmers who benefit from careful collection of data. Most Futurepump solar irrigation pumps come with a data logger installed which measures the amount of water used to irrigate, and when. With a vast database of over 4000 remotely monitored pumps, Futurepump is able to share this valuable information with experts who can use it to the benefit of all. With this data we can understand changing patterns in irrigation and farming, and make better decisions for all of us.

A farmer irrigating their crops
Futurepump customer, Ann, irrigates her rows of cabbages

Futurepump is proud to be involved with several such projects: some looking at matching up solar pump distributors with communities that need access to pumps, and some, like the REALGUD project with the International Water Management Institute, which examines groundwater use in real-time, helping our policymakers and businesses make smarter decisions, and like the REFRUIT project with Farm-Hand, GADC and Scene, which uses the dataloggers to develop a smart, data-driven automated irrigation system, personalised for each farm.

We’re so proud to be an industry leader in this respect – not only do we collect such data, but we are excited to share it with those who can use it for the benefit of all.

Futurepump is actively seeking sponsors and funding sources for their data loggers. If you’re interested in this, please get in touch.