Precision Irrigation and Sustainable Intensification in a Digital and Resilient Agriculture Context

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Water, Agriculture and Aquaculture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 August 2023) | Viewed by 5836

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, 1349-017 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: agronomy; agriculture; soil-water-plant-atmosphere relationships; water use of fruit crops; irrigation engineering; environmental monitoring; remote sensing; data acquisition systems and automation

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Guest Editor
Research Center LEAF (Linking Landscape, Environment, Agriculture and Food), Associate Laboratory TERRA, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
Interests: evapotranspiration; plant water requirements; irrigation; deficit irrigation; plant water stress; green infrastructure water management
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Guest Editor
Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Sevilla (IRNAS, CSIC), 41012 Sevilla, Spain
Interests: sustainable intensive agriculture; water productivity; deficit irrigation; irrigation scheduling; ecophysiology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Irrigation, a key practice for effective agriculture in arid and semi-arid climates, has been associated with crop intensification since ancient times. Nowadays, as stated by FAO, sustainable intensive agriculture is a key approach to accomplish with global population and food consumption trends. Thus, arable land is limited and, at a global scale, it is necessary to produce more with fewer inputs, and reduced environmental impact, per unit surface of land.

Diet and nutrition are key issues for the development of societies, since incorrect alimentation leading to deficient or excess food intake and micronutrient deficiencies, and unhealthy lifestyles, is linked to the development of chronic-degenerative diseases (largely preventable) like obesity, diabetes mellitus and some types of cancer.

The necessary increase in global food production and in the proportion of fruits, vegetables, legumes and pulses in the diet must be accompanied by improvements in its nutritional quality and production efficiency, the latter minimizing the risks of soil and water pollution, the loss of biodiversity, the food waste and losses, and the unsustainable use of plant protection products.

In conjunction with global climate change, the increase in worldwide population, in industrialization, in standard of living and in irrigated area (with concomitant increases in the use of fertilizers and plant protection products), has increased the use of water resources in agriculture, leading to an increase in their scarcity and/or pollution in many areas.

Precision irrigation, which involves rational irrigation strategies and sensor-based systems (automation and remote sensing) supported by digital technologies, has proven to be an effective tool to materialize sustainable intensive agriculture in areas with water deficit.

In this context, this Special Issue aims to gather new and innovative knowledge, technology and agricultural practices related to precision irrigation, to achieve a resilient, ecologically adjusted and sustainable intensive agriculture suitable to overcome the challenges from global climate change and global population. Review articles, and historic and didactic works aiming to systematize the increasing volume of knowledge and to link tradition with innovation, will also be considered as valuable contributions to this Special Issue.

Dr. Nuno Conceição
Prof. Dr. Teresa Afonso do Paço
Prof. Dr. José Enrique Fernández
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • deficit irrigation
  • climate smart irrigation
  • digital technologies
  • environmental, soil, water, plant and yield monitoring
  • hydraulics and related technology
  • evapotranspiration modelling and crop coefficients
  • nano-sensors and nanotechnology
  • nutrient use efficiency
  • remote and proximal sensing
  • water relations and survival strategies
  • water use and evapotranspiration partition

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

23 pages, 7754 KiB  
Article
Assimilation of Sentinel-2 Biophysical Variables into a Digital Twin for the Automated Irrigation Scheduling of a Vineyard
by Joaquim Bellvert, Ana Pelechá, Magí Pamies-Sans, Jordi Virgili, Mireia Torres and Jaume Casadesús
Water 2023, 15(14), 2506; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15142506 - 8 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2089
Abstract
Decision support systems (DSS) are needed to carry out precision irrigation. Key issues in this regard include how to deal with spatial variability and the adoption of deficit irrigation strategies at the field scale. A software application originally designed for water balance-based automated [...] Read more.
Decision support systems (DSS) are needed to carry out precision irrigation. Key issues in this regard include how to deal with spatial variability and the adoption of deficit irrigation strategies at the field scale. A software application originally designed for water balance-based automated irrigation scheduling locally fine-tuned through the use of sensors has been further developed with the emerging paradigm of both digital twins and the Internet of Things (IoT). The aim of this research is to demonstrate the feasibility of automatically scheduling the irrigation of a commercial vineyard when adopting regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) strategies and assimilating in near real time the fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fAPAR) obtained from Sentinel-2 imagery. In addition, simulations of crop evapotranspiration obtained by the digital twin were compared with remote sensing estimates using surface energy balance models and Copernicus-based inputs. Results showed that regression between instantaneous fAPAR and in situ measurements of the fraction of intercepted photosynthetically active radiation (fIPAR) had a coefficient of determination (R2) ranging from 0.61 to 0.91, and a root mean square deviation (RMSD) of 0.10. The conversion of fAPAR to a daily time step was dependent on row orientation. A site-specific automated irrigation scheduling was successfully adopted and an adaptive response allowed spontaneous adjustments in order to stress vines to a certain level at specific growing stages. Simulations of the soil water balance components performed well. The regression between digital twin simulations and remote sensing-estimated actual (two-source energy balance Priestley–Taylor modeling approach, TSEB-PTS2+S3) and potential (Penman–Monteith approach) evapotranspiration showed RMSD values of 0.98 mm/day and 1.14 mm/day, respectively. Full article
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21 pages, 3694 KiB  
Article
Technological Innovation in the Traditional Olive Orchard Management: Advances and Opportunities to the Northeastern Region of Portugal
by Carlos Silveira, Arlindo Almeida and António C. Ribeiro
Water 2022, 14(24), 4081; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14244081 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2251
Abstract
In Portugal, the olive orchard is the most representative agricultural crop and one of the most impactful on the national economy. Therefore, a production structure accompanying the technological advances in this field would be expected; however, such a structure has not yet been [...] Read more.
In Portugal, the olive orchard is the most representative agricultural crop and one of the most impactful on the national economy. Therefore, a production structure accompanying the technological advances in this field would be expected; however, such a structure has not yet been realized, especially within traditional systems. Thus, taking northeastern Portugal as a case study, where a great expression of traditional orchards is visible, the following aspects are addressed within this paper: the region’s biophysical framework, the olive orchard’s environmental and socio-economic importance and its current management practices and associated pressures. As a result of that assessment, which demonstrates a low level of sustainability for traditional olive orchards, mainly in terms of economic viability, the most effective and simple solution is to act appropriately on factors that interfere with the crop yield, namely, irrigation and fertilization issues. With that purpose, a multiscale precision oliviculture system is also presented that is being developed in order to support decision making in traditional olive orchard management, aiming to obtain economically efficient productions based on eco-friendly cultural practices. Throughout the entire process, it is essential to ensure stakeholder engagement, in particular, olive growers, so that they recognize the effectiveness of potential measures that may avoid the reconversion/abandonment of the traditional olive production system. Full article
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