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How do you decide when to irrigate?

A data-driven platform provides farmers with information they need to make better use of their water resources.

July 9, 2024

4 Min Read
Center pivot irrigation system
DECISION TIME: Making irrigation decisions should be more sophisticated and informed than turning on the pivot when your neighbor turns their sprinkler on. That’s why Nave Analytics tries to help irrigators make their decisions based on data. Farm Progress

How do we make our irrigation decisions, by guess or by data? That is the question.

“We are in 2024, so we should be doing better than turning on the pivot because our neighbor did,” says Jessi Korinek, CEO of Nave Analytics, a Nebraska-based company that works to produce data to assist farmers in making efficient irrigation decisions. “All of that comes back to having the information to be able to make that decision.”

Water usage is a hot topic in today’s dialogue. For row crop farmers that rely on irrigation to help produce a crop each year, water conservation is at the top of mind.

So, what is the point of being able to make more efficient decisions regarding irrigation usage? It is not just the water that is being saved. The bottom line can improve with an informed decision-making process, allowing producers to only water when and where the crop needs it.

What information is needed

Nave Analytics collects data from all the paths that water can go in a field to create a complete water picture. It takes into consideration the satellite signals, weather data, data from the field, and then adds in crop and hydrology modeling.

“We know how much is coming in, how much is going out, crop water uses and evaporative transpiration, to create this whole picture of water in a field,” Korinek says.

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Korinek says that Nave Analytics is getting information all the way across the field boundary, not just where a sensor may be.

Producers who are ahead of the curve and have already invested in certain data layers for their fields can use that data to get more specific information with Nave Analytics. However, if they are just starting to make more data-driven irrigation decisions, no extra technology needs to be installed.

Jackob Schlick - Jessi Korinek, CEO of Nave Analytics

By using field boundaries, crop type, plant date and the amount of water applied to the field, Nave Analytics can take it from there. Additionally, having a close working relationship with your agronomist is important to make those final decisions in the field.

“We are not doing a straight recommendation,” Korinek says. “We believe there is a certain level of situational field knowledge needed to get to a final recommendation.”

There are three different customer branches that Nave Analytics looks to serve. The first is the agronomist or the farmer through SaaS, a web app to look at field information.

“The second one is other digital ag companies as an integrated option, where if a company already has a platform with a group of customers, we can just get our data visualized in their platform,” Korinek says.

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With this branch, there is one less login that producers need to remember because they can work with their current platform.

The third option is companies that want to use Nave Analytics exclusively as a data provider.

“We think that there are a lot of other companies that can also benefit from looking at irrigation metrics or drought risk that our information can be useful for,” Korinek says.

For farmers across the world

Nave Analytics was founded in Nebraska, but nearly every farmer who irrigates can use this service. Because Korinek and her team only need information about the field, they can help producers across the world make better irrigation decisions.

Last summer, Nave Analytics covered 7,000 acres in Nebraska for a pilot scenario. While there is a Nebraska-first mindset, to test this technology even further, they expanded the pilots to South America.

“We were on about 12,000 acres in Brazil and Argentina for their growing season, during our winter,” Korinek says.

During this pilot process, farmers can see firsthand how this information could help them save water and money.

The 2024 growing season is the first year that Nave Analytics is commercially available. While it is small-scale right now, the opportunity for growth is available. Whether you are a farmer looking for a tool to help with sustainability goals or you are just looking to save money on irrigation, Nave Analytics can be a tool to help.

“Growing up in agriculture, we have a farmer-first mindset,” Korinek says. “So, everything that we do, we want it to benefit the farmer. That is really the goal that brings everything back together.”

To learn more about Nave Analytics and its services, visit naveanalytics.com.

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Irrigation
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