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How to win the cherry race with Phytech's decision support tools

Updated: Mar 18

Cherry season is a short race. In some cases, it takes six weeks from flowering to harvest, so every irrigation decision is critical, especially when growers aim to harvest as soon as possible to gain leverage against the competition.

The ultimate decision support system for cherry growers

Phytech enables growers to achieve their target fruit size while keeping the trees healthy by supplying clear agronomic and hydraulic visibility through these data layers:

  • Real-time trees' condition - water-demand, growth and health data via the dendrometers (trunk sensors).

  • Achieving the target fruit size by comparing real-time fruit size and growth (obtained from the fruit sensors) to a target trajectory.

  • Soil moisture monitoring from 6 depths gives clear visibility of the profile and the root zone status including saturation, and soil depletion prediction based on data from the soil, the plant and planned irrigations.

  • Hydraulic monitoring - ensuring execution with real-time data from the pumps, valves, filters, fertigation tanks and pressure maps + alerts to track distribution uniformity. Historical data from each irrigation component to draw insights and adapt strategies.

  • Climate data - local weather station, frost mitigation app including alerts, wind-machine monitoring, GDD models

Achieving your sweet goals

"Seeing the different layers on one screen helps understand the effect of irrigation on the trees' growth rate, fruit size and the soil moisture level", explains Head of Agronomy Research, Ph.D. Ido Gardi. "Here are some examples of how the system presents the data to the grower so he can optimize his irrigation decisions".

A: Optimizing cherry irrigation and monitoring fruit size

Circled in black is the fruit size at different points in time. You can easily see the relation between a red plant status (stress), a smaller fruit size, and soil moisture level that drops near the stress line (the orange line at the bottom of the screen).

Example A

B: Monitoring and restraining foliage growth during post-harvest

Since pruning cherry trees is time and labor consuming, growers seek to restrain their trees growth during post-harvest, but without harming trees' productivity and health. Adapting irrigation frequency so that the soil moisture is close to the stress line while keeping a positive growth rate (the green graph) allows growers to keep things balanced. In this example the intervals between irrigations are longer but without entering into the red stress zone.

Example B:

C: When to stop irrigating

Here, too, monitoring the plant status, growth rate and soil moisture levels gives growers a clear indication on when to start reducing irrigation.

In this example, at the beginning, irrigation has stopped, resulting in stress and soil depletion which might affect trees' future productivity. When soil moisture levels are building up while trees' growth rate and MDS are reduced, the grower has a good indication that irrigation can be reduced while maintaining trees health.

Example C:

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