On McGrath Family Farms in Oxnard, California, agriculture is not just about dirt, seeds, and irrigation. It’s also about utilizing technology to optimize the most efficient use of conditions to maximize output. The ranch has installed a new system from ClimateMinder that has lowered their use of water, time, and money.
ClimeMinder is a monitoring and management system and platform for agricultural use that gathers data through a mesh network of sensors that transmit information wirelessly. This is collected and kept on the ClimeMinder system. The data is collected at stations set every 20-40 acres on a farm or ranch, each connected to the Internet.
The farm or ranch manger can then access the information at any time and use software tools that ClimateMinder provides through its software as a service (SaaS) platform to analyze the condition of their fields. Water can be directed to whichever areas need it rather than on a rotational schedule that may over- or under-water a given field.
ClimateMinder also monitors key nutrients and other aspects of the soil, giving the farmer a full spectrum of information about what their fields are doing and what needs to be done to help them along.
“On our ranch, there are several different soil types,” says Phil McGrath, owner of McGrath Family Farms. “One cropping program does not fit all. With ClimateMinder you get very accurate information about the soil moisture content on any block. I’m irrigating less overall.”
Year over year, the system keeps track of this information and uses the multi-year data to find trouble spots and help growers budget and organize their seasons.