Water is becoming scarcer and more expensive. With direct and reliable information on crop water status, farmers can save water and increase yields.
Today, due to the lack of direct and reliable measurement, farmers typically overwater crops by up to 20% “just to be on the safe side.” Overwatering puts pressure on an already scarce and expensive resource, increases pollution from nutrient rich runoff, affects the quality of the fruit, and reduces profitability.
Stem water potential (SWP) is a highly accurate parameter for determining water status. Today, it can only be measured manually, in a labor-intensive procedure. Despite numerous approaches to sensor-based irrigation, the market lacks a solution that combines accuracy, ease of use, and affordability.
Saturas is developing a miniature SWP sensor that is part of an automatic SWP sensing system. Embedded in the trunks of trees, vines, and plants, the sensor provides accurate information based on statistical analysis for optimized irrigation, reduced water consumption, and increased fruit production and quality. The Saturas precision agriculture sensing system components: miniature implanted sensors, in-orchard communications and transponders, and control unit.
Saturas’ automatic SWP sensing system collects accurate data using a minimal number of sensors per hectare, and transmits the data to a central control system connected to irrigation controllers for automated irrigation. The farmer receives information in an easy-to-read report. The Saturas technology tailors irrigation to real-time needs, resulting in more efficient water use while increasing yields, fruit size, and sugar content (e.g., vineyards).
Current SWP solutions are the labor-intensive pressure chamber or costly electronic sensors that measure soil water and stem constriction, and require high maintenance (especially for calibration), have high variance, and lack accuracy. Saturas’ automated sensors offer high accuracy with ease of use at significantly lower cost than products currently on the market.
The Company’s estimated market potential from a few of its applicable markets is tremendous. Company estimates for vineyards (~$390 million/year), irrigated orchards/plantations (~$675 million/year), and irrigated cotton (~$200/year) indicate a combined potential of more than $1 billion per year.
Stage: Technology development
Founded: April 2013
Investor: The Trendlines Group
Anat Solomon-Halgoa, CEO
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