Deardorff Family Farms Enlists Hortau Inc. Technology to Conserve Water
OXNARD, CA - In case you hadn’t heard, California is tightening up the water belt, making it necessary to find ways to minimize water usage in the state. Not an easy task for the agricultural industry. Deardorff Family Farms, however, is doing its best to conserve, monitor, and manage agricultural water usage with the implementation of Hortau, Inc. technology.
“I have tried other soil monitoring systems in the past, and in my opinion Hortau’s is by far the most accurate and true measurement of soil tension compared to others on the market,” Richard Martinez, Organic Production Manager for Deardorff Family Farms, said, according to a press release. “This is vital when we have different soil types throughout all our ranches, with one single ranch having multiple soil types, each holding moisture differently.”
As we previously reported, Hortau’s soil tension monitoring system allows growers to monitor how hard crop roots are working for their water in real time and adjust accordingly.
According to Deardorff, the system has become an integral part of its production, with eleven systems placed throughout the company’s 2,000 of certified organic and conventional acres in Ventura County, CA.
The company invested in smart devices like iPhones and iPads to equip field personnel with the tools to access Hortau's irrigation management system, with real-time data located on its web-based monitoring systems, from either on the field or in the office. With it, they can see a variety of measurements, from soil tension, soil temperature, and humidity on different fields, allowing the company to adjust water usage precisely. According to the release, this has been especially useful for its celery fields, which require the most water and is Deardorff’s most produced crop.
“This system is a better decision tool for us; we can regulate accordingly to any changes in climate,” Martinez stated, having tried the trial-and-error method of testing soil with his fingers long before first installing the system in 2013. “Whether it’s overcast for a week straight or sunny skies for days, we can more accurately adjust water output. In this industry, especially during the drought, as technologies develop the more efficient we will become and the more we will conserve.”
Deardorff stated that Hortau’s system has become a necessity during California’s 25 percent state-mandated cutbacks on water usage, having “drastically altered” the way the company monitors its water while enabling it to better monitor over/under-watering and apply appropriate amounts where needed.
Hortau was also listed recently in Forbes Magazine, where Martinez reiterated the positive impact the company has had in helping to conserve water.
An imperative practice during this record-shattering dry spell.