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"Phytech takes the guess out of irrigation" / Jean Pierre Boerdery / Success story

Gerhard Colyn, Farm Manager at Jean Pierre Boerdery, situated in the Keisie Valley in near the Klein Karoo town of Montagu, talked with Dieter Keller, South Africa territory Manager about the role Phytech plays in his day-to-day farm management. Jean Pierre Boerdery grows plums, peaches, wine grapes and apricots.

Dieter Keller, South Africa territory Manager


Q: How is Phytech helping you save water and optimize production?


"Some background is needed here; We get water from a scheme called the CBR water scheme; water is pumped three times before it reaches us, pipe from scheme delivers a limited quantity. This season we were able to save water in the early season, which gave us the capacity to irrigate the required amounts in peak season. Phytech helped us find the correct irrigation strategy for each one of our covered blocks, by showing us almost instantly what the tree needs in terms of irrigation".

Q: What makes Phytech different from other services?


"Phytech gives us the ability to almost irrigate pro-actively. For example: looking at trees’ reaction to a certain irrigation on a 40 degree day two weeks ago, you can plan accordingly for a 40 degree day ahead. Phytech gives us the ability to see whether a tree is happy or not, as opposed to only measuring soil moisture, and not knowing the effect of different moisture levels on our trees".;


Q: How do you use Phytech in your day-to-day routine? How did you manage irrigation before Phytech? how is Phytech affecting your decision making and did it help you change your irrigation tactics during the season.

"Before Phytech, we had a pre-prescribed program for different phases in the season, keeping to set times on certain days. With Phytech, we irrigate according to what trees ‘tell’ us. We monitor plant statuses daily, and adapt accordingly. We’ll have a better base to start from next season, due to the fact that we have a whole season’s data to look back on.


The irrigation pressure sensors are an added bonus, by showing for example valves that are faulty on the App instantly, which might not have been realized so soon before Phytech".


Q: What are the main benefits of using Phytech?


"Water is a scarce and expensive resource here in the Keisie Valley and we must use it wisely. By saving water early in the season, we now have the capacity to fulfill blocks’ needs during crucial times of the season. Post harvest irrigation is also made simple, being able to anticipate exactly when the tree will need water, helps prevent over/under irrigation during a period which used to be a guessing game when it comes to the tree’s needs.

The fact that we know we have Phytech’s support team, also looking and interpreting what the trees are ‘telling’ us, gives you assurance that we are irrigating effectively".


Q: What would you say to other growers who think about switching to Phytech ?


"Phytech helps you irrigate exactly according to the tree’s needs, nothing more, nothing less. It takes the guessing out of irrigation. You are able to react instantly before the tree becomes stressed".



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