Smartphone Apps for Irrigation Scheduling
Georgia has faced repeated droughts and widely varying rainfall patterns over the past two decades making irrigation a critical asset in maintaining yield stability. Easy-to-use irrigation scheduling tools are not readily available and frequently require daily data entry from producers to function. This makes it difficult for agricultural producers to use these tools, resulting in very low adoption rates. So UGA crop and soil scientists are developing a suite of easy-to-use smartphone applications which can be used for scheduling irrigation in several crops important to Georgia. The apps require minimum input from the user and push notifications to the user when it is time to irrigate. The Cotton SmartIrrigation App was released in 2014 and has been used by cotton growers for three growing seasons. Data show that it can improve water use efficiency by more than 30 percent. Apps for soybeans, tomato, cabbage, watermelon, and blueberry are currently in various stages of development and will be released to the public by 2018. Apps are free and can be downloaded for iOS and Android smartphones from www.smartirrigationapps.org.