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Grower Spotlight / Dylan Dias, Farm Manager at Danroc Macadamias: It's the future of Precision AG

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

South Africa is one of the world's top macademia producers. We are glad to be part of this flourishing industry in South Africa and share the voices of advanced growers who are leading the way towards digital transformation.

In this post, South African Territory Manager, Dieter Keller spoke with Dylan Dias, Farm Manager at Danroc Macadamias farm in Barberton.

Below is an excerpt of Dylan's experience working with Phytech:

Dylan (left) with Teritorry Manager, Dieter Keller

Phtech is the way to go

Dylan: "I believe Phytech is a crucial bit of equipment if you want to practice precision farming. I have numerous tools at my disposal to make decisions on irrigation, such as soil moisture probes and Eto calculators and all sorts of other equipment but I truly believe that Phytech is the way to go"

"It's the future of precision agriculture. Wireless measurement apparatuses such as dendrometers, irrigation sensors as well as soil moisture probes and all the future tools being brought in through Phytech is incredible.

Listening to the trees

I find Phytech is a key tool when it comes to optimizing irrigation as well as general operational irrigation management. As a farmer you look at your trees and you can tell if your trees are looking good or they're looking sick, or they are stressing. But these visual indicators are normally a delayed indication which also means a delayed response. So, what Phytech allows you to do is to make an informed decision now. These decisions are thus made before your trees go into heavy stress - before things go wrong!

Huge amount of flowers this year

As an example, after a rainy day, farmers tend to think - “it’s wet - everything should be fine”. But we can now catch any stress on a hot day following the rainy day because of the feedback we get from our own trees. Using Phytech, we now listen to our trees which aids precision decisions regarding our irrigation amounts and timing and whatever other practices we have.

It has improved the conditions of our trees

Phytech greatly assists to prevent things from going wrong. Using the data, you can even identify phenological cycles of your trees through growth patterns. Overlaying past tree data patterns from the numerous measuring points you can calculate precisely what your trees are doing, when your trees are doing it and how you should irrigate.

There are numerous insights you gain through Phytech. It is an incredible tool which I trust. It definitely helped me change the way I do things. It has improved the condition of the trees and the entire farm in general. Inevitably it's proven. Our yields have improved because I'm able to make precise decisions when needed. We no longer over irrigate or under irrigate because Phytech points us in the right direction. I’ll say it again – It's the future of precision agriculture"

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