New Innovation in Precision Irrigation Boosts Crop Yields and Water Conservation

BIS Research
5 min readApr 18


New Innovation in Precision Irrigation

As the world’s population continues to grow and climate change intensifies, competition for water resources will become even more acute.

Thus, irrigated agriculture has become an essential tool in meeting the growing demand for food and fiber as irrigation allows for more intensive production and crop diversification, making it twice as productive per unit of land as rain-fed agriculture.

However, as the demand for water resources continues to grow, it will be necessary to reallocate water from lower productive activities to higher ones, particularly in regions with water stress.

In order to achieve this objective, it will be necessary to improve water use efficiency and water delivery systems.

Moreover, the adoption of advanced technologies, such as soil moisture sensors and satellite-based evapotranspiration measurements, along with improvements to water delivery systems, will be crucial for enhancing agricultural efficiency and productivity.

In this article, we will investigate an innovative approach to precision irrigation that has resulted in improved farm yields while minimizing water consumption.

What is the IrriDesk system?

The IrriDesk system is a precision irrigation technology developed by the Institute of Agrifood Research and Technology (IRTA) in Barcelona. This technology supports over 60 approved crop models, considering local variables such as soil, water, and climate conditions.

IrriDesk precision irrigation technology focuses on improving irrigation management, increasing water productivity, and driving crop improvement.

The IrriDesk system is powered by an algorithm that provides farmers with online recommendations regarding the best irrigation prescriptions for their crops.

This allows the farmers to access real-time information about how much water their crops need, allowing for more accurate irrigation management.

The system can be customized by embedding it in existing platforms, which allows farmers to skip heavy investments in new systems.

Moreover, IrriDesk can be easily integrated with sensors and irrigation controllers to improve overall efficiency.

The adoption of innovations in Precision irrigation, such as IrriDesk, which can improve irrigation management and farm economics, will drive demand in the market struggling with overpopulation and water scarcity.

According to data insights from BIS Research, the global precision irrigation market was valued at $2.23 billion in 2022 and is forecast to reach $4.47 billion by 2027 at a CAGR of 14.84%.

Global Precision Irrigation Market

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Trials of the IrriDesk System

Precision irrigation through the IrriDesk system allows for a more targeted application of fertilizers and other agricultural inputs, reducing waste and improving crop quality while saving high costs.

The positive impact of the IrriDesk precision irrigation system has been demonstrated in extensive field trials over the past three years, from 2019–2022. These trials have shown improvements in both yield and quality across a range of high-value crops, such as grapes, olives, and almonds.

According to Shaun Taylor, CEO of IrriDesk, the platform is well-suited for use in high-value vineyard and orchard crops, such as citrus fruits, almonds, pistachios, avocados, and grapes, where even small improvements in yield or quality can have a substantial impact on profits.

The IrriDesk system can operate autonomously, following a pre-defined seasonal strategy or proposing a seasonal plan based on specific scenarios, with user interventions required only when necessary. This enables farmers to rely on the system for precise irrigation recommendations that are based on real-time data gathered from sensors and other external sources.

Furthermore, the accuracy of IrriDesk is supported by daily uploads from sensors, which enrich data and enable simulations to produce new irrigation prescriptions.

These prescriptions are then transmitted to the irrigation controller, ensuring that crops receive the optimal amount of water needed for growth.

Moreover, the IrriDesk precision irrigation system also includes an application programming interface (API), which enables different applications to work together, share data, and collect and process data from external devices and applications.

The IrriDesk API is a valuable tool for farmers who want to integrate their irrigation system with other smart irrigation devices or systems.

With the API, farmers can easily collect and analyze data from different sources, such as soil sensors, satellite data, and hyper-local weather data, and use this information to create a 7-day irrigation prescription that can be fed directly into a controller.

The API also allows for scenario planning using a digital twin, which enables farmers to model and simulate different irrigation scenarios and prescriptions before implementing them in the real world.

For instance, a farmer can use a digital twin to plan a water withdrawal period to control growth, followed by a period of water application to stimulate growth, and then model the impact of these actions on crop yields and water consumption.

According to Mr. Taylor, the IrriDesk technology is highly interoperable and can easily integrate with various smart irrigation devices at an industry level. In addition, the IrriDesk API can be licensed for integration at no cost, and users have the option to purchase a subscription.

This makes IrriDesk a comprehensive solution that not only enhances the quality of crop yields but also provides greater returns on its investment.

Furthermore, IRTA is planning to incorporate fertigation technology into its IrriDesk precision irrigation system, which will be made available by mid-2023.

Fertigation is the process of applying fertilizers through irrigation systems to provide plants with the necessary nutrients.

IrriDesk’s proposed fertigation technology will complement its precision irrigation system, allowing farmers to match a precision irrigation plan with a precision fertigation plan.

This will provide farmers with even greater control over their crop’s growth and yield, as well as further improve their water and fertilizer use efficiency.


Smart precision irrigation systems such as IrriDesk also hold the potential to address some of the water resource challenges that our world faces.

By improving water use efficiency in agriculture, they can reduce the strain on freshwater resources and help ensure that there is enough water to meet the needs of both urban and rural populations.

Moreover, the integration of advanced technologies such as digital twins, machine learning, internet of things (IoT) sensors, and artificial intelligence (AI) in precision irrigation will lead to better farm outputs.

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