Updated: Feb 25, 2020
In the past 15 years, world trade and consumption of fresh avocados has been rocketing. In Israel (as well as in Mexico) where a person eats between 6-8 kg of avocados a year - it's been a national obsession since the 60's. No wonder than that Israeli avocado growers are among the world's most advanced farmers in terms of productivity and using technology to grow better yields while saving water.
At Phytech we're already covering more than 80% of the avocado market in Israel. We're helping avocado growers optimize yields by connecting them to their trees via our Plant-based revolutionary solution. Plant-sensors continuously monitor micro-variations of stem diameter, that are scientifically proven stress indicators. We then apply patented algorithms that transform the raw data into crop specific plant status. Keeping plant status in the recommended range (green) and avoiding stress (red) leads to production optimization.
We take pride in creating the world's top irrigation optimization solution but we wouldn't have gotten to this point without the trust from our clients and their valuable feedback
recently we sat down with Hen, one of our early adaptors, an irrigation manager at Kibbutz Beit-Hazera, who has been growing great avocados for years using our solution. We wanted to hear the role Phytech is playing in his irrigation practices.
Q: What are the main benefits from using Phytech?
A: For me it's all about getting a reliable and clear picture of what's happening with my trees. with Phytech I know each minute how much water is available for the trees and I get alerts if there are problems with the irrigation. It gives me better understanding and much better sense of control.
Q: How did your irrigation tactics have changed? A: I think that the more we've been using Phytech - the better we've been in cutting unnecessary irrigation events. we get a plant-status indication when an area is being over irrigated and we immediately close the valves. By following closely Phytech's plant status we're changing our irrigation plans to adapt to what the tree truly needs in terms of water supply. when you take it across a year it's a lot of litres being saved.
Q: How is your irrigation routine different with Phytech compared to the old days ? A: I'm tracking my irrigation scheduling and plans and adapt according to Phytech's recommendations. I have a plan but I'm making changes according to the data. sometimes I'm lowering amounts or I'm compensating when the system is showing me that the trees need more water. Phytech covers my blind spots. I'm checking the system every morning before sunrise and during the day. Sometimes I'll have a discussion with the manager and we go through plots that need our attention.
Q: Do you feel that Phytech made you a better grower ? A: Absolutely. I'm an irrigation manager so basically my job is to give the trees exactly the right amount of water at the right time in order to maximize yield while saving water and energy. Phytech is definitely helping me to do just that by giving me reliable, real-time data of the trees' actual water demand.
Q: What would you say to growers who are still hesitant to switch to digital farming tools? A: I think it's no longer a nice to have. Monitoring and optimization tools are a must-have for growers who wish to run an efficient and healthy business. With Phytech A-Z solution it's easier to make the shift and move forward. I like the way the company is built with the customer at its center. They have a professional support team which gives great service and is available. I like that they speak "farming". They understand us. The subscription model gives me flexibility. I don't have to deal with maintenance and investment in equipment . The software is constantly being updated and is very reliable.