IMPERIAL COUNTY – As all are now aware, the State of California is currently facing the worst possible drought on record. Countless state regulations and city ordinances have gone into effect to regulate water usage throughout the state.
Even Hollywood Stars such as Conan O’ Brian and Lady Gaga, have urged Californians to save water during this state of emergency.No one is exempt from the drought crisis, especially farmers who highly depend on water to irrigate their crops.
In The Imperial Valley, crops are grown year round and water from the Colorado River is essential for their survival. The current drought has diminished the flow of water running through the River, especially after supplying water to the entire Imperial Valley.
As a result, farmers have begun using water conservation methods not only to conserve water but also to save their crops. One of those methods that are proving to be beneficial has originated from an irrigation management company called Hortau.
Based in Canada, Hortau was founded in 2002 and with representatives in California, Colorado, Nebraska, and Wisconsin, Hortau has rapidly grown as a leading irrigation management company.
CEO Jocelyn Boudreau recently stated, “We are helping growers do more with less. Our tool not only helps them monitor water use, but measures soil tension and plant stress, ensuring they’re giving a crop exactly how much water it needs to be in its healthiest and most productive state.”
Like many other AG companies, Hortau fabricates sensors that measure soil tension; however, Hortau’s measurements are in real time, which means that farmers can instantly access field data through any electronic device that has access to the internet.
This is achieved through several methods, for instance, a Hortau Technician will go out to a Beet Field and install a device called Web-Based TX3, which has a Global Position System (GPS) integrated and 24/7 access to the internet. This device displays soil tension data and sends the information online every 15 minutes.
Even thought it all may sound simple, Hortau has spent countless hours in research and development. It was recently announced that Hortau secured $3.5 million from Avrio Capital in order to continue with research and to rapidly expand throughout North America.
“Whether it’s mandated or not, growers don’t want to waste water.” stated Mr. Jocelyn. That has proven to be true as sales for Hortau’s sytem have significantly increased for the Imperial Valley alone.
With the world population at 7 billion people and growing, smart farming is more crucial than ever before. Whether in a drought or not, being a good steward of the land, water, and natural resources is a better way to farm. State-of-the-art farming technology is the wave of the future and it is a good thing to see young farmers and seasoned farmers embracing better growing practices.