Lindsay Corp., Omaha, Neb., predicts population growth and food demand along with environmental issues will impact irrigation trends in 2022. It should know. It’s a leading global manufacturer and distributor of irrigation and infrastructure equipment and technology operating since 1955.
1. Wireless Crop Monitoring and Control
In 2022, farmers will use more technology to monitor and control fields. Solutions making it easy to control pressure, flow and water level from a smartphone, tablet or desktop from anywhere and at anytime will continue to appeal to farmers.
2. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Lindsay says AI has the potential to be a game changer in agriculture as forecasting and predictive analytics reduce errors and minimize risk of crop failures. Plus, AI-enhanced products will give growers better information on general water trends in their soil to create more efficient and effective cropping plans.
3. Variable Rate Irrigation (VRI)
While around for a while, this technology will see a resurgence because it can increase profitability and productivity while conserving water, Lindsay noted. VRI has proven to reduce overwatering, runoff and nutrient leaching—especially important factors are more state and international agreements push for cleaner water.
4. Data-Informed Decision Making
These days, everything is driven by data—from the media we browse to the way we manage our fields. It’s simply more efficient, especially when it comes to pivot irrigation, Lindsay said. One-stop farm management solutions using crop types, planting dates, soil maps, local weather information and irrigation history to provide recommendations on when, where and how much to irrigate fields will continue to grow.
5. Water Management
Water and irrigation management that balances conservation principles with a farm’s water needs will be a big trend moving forward—especially considering ever-changing weather patterns and climate change. According to the UN Water team, which has designed 2022 a time to focus on groundwater, it provides “about 40% of water for irrigated agriculture and about 1/3 of water supply required for industry.” Growers who are early adopters of water conservation efforts will be leaders in incorporating technology that could make a difference when it comes to sustainability and overall environmental health, Lindsay noted.
6. Soil Management
Going hand-in-hand with water management, soil conservation is essential for farmland productivity. Lindsay predicted finding ways to mitigate erosion, maintain fertility and avoid degradation will help ensure farmland remains beneficial.
7. Cost Sharing
New cost-sharing policies provide international, federal or state funding that can help U.S. and Canadian growers. These types of agreements and funding sources are only anticipated to expand in 2022, Lindsay added.