Using technology to irrigate crops efficiently and responsibly

ISSUE

As managers of agricultural investments, the success of our clients' portfolios depends in large part on water resources. Our team’s goal is to manage water resources effectively and responsibly. This means maximizing the value per unit of water used—irrigating efficiently and precisely—and being responsible stewards of the environment around us.

To do this, we need to know how much water a crop needs and when it needs it as well as how much water the environment is providing through precipitation.

Measuring evapotranspiration (ET)—how much water is transferred back into the atmosphere through evaporation from soil and transpiration from plants—allows us to dynamically measure crop water needs and apply the precise amount of water needed to keep crops healthy.

ACTION

Our global agriculture operations team uses satellite and ground-based technologies to measure ET and make irrigation decisions.

In California, weekly local ET updates inform our irrigation schedules, helping to ensure our water application is precise and effective. We also use satellite ET imagery to measure total water use across time.

In Australia, we use weather-based irrigation scheduling, fixed-wing imagery services, and other in-field technologies to measure crop water needs to efficiently irrigate and conserve water.

Given the importance of being responsible stewards of water, we’ve also built a dedicated in-house global water team with expertise spanning all pillars of our agriculture business. 

OUTCOME

To sustainably produce food and fiber, we need to give our crops the water they need—no more and no less.

Implementing state-of-the-art technologies to monitor and manage water resources, such as ET technologies and precision irrigation techniques, allows us to use water efficiently, ensure the application of water is effective, and generate the highest-value outcome possible. 

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