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Integration of valuable arable wild herbs in intensive cash crop cultivation

Intelligent irrigation control as "Location-adapted, fully automatic real-time process optimisation of solar-powered irrigation in regional agriculture in Saxony-Anhalt, with simultaneous digitalisation of water and material flows" describes the innovative system for efficient irrigation in extensive arable crops.


Contents and goals

Water is often a limiting factor in agriculture. Efficient and resource-saving use is therefore often the subject of test series. An underground drip irrigation system was put into operation at the International DLG Crop Production Center in 2014. Once the feasibility of this new technology in arable farming had been proven and the system established, it was to be further developed in the IrriMode project.

The irrigation was controlled by a solar-powered pump system, an intermediate storage tank with water level regulation, a climate station and irrigation control system as well as soil sensors to record the water and material flows. The data collected in the process was passed on to the virtual system (Mike Operations) and processed.

The main objectives of this project were to adapt the water supply to the actual plant requirements, to automate this process and to optimise the energy situation for irrigation. The goal was to reduce and avoid nutrient discharges, achieve clear data collection, digitalise and model the material flows and finally to achieve fully automatic real-time process control of irrigation.


Task of the DLG

The DLG supported the project by providing the land and the drip irrigation system, supervising the entire system and the crop cultivation measures with adapted cultivation management and, of course, analysing the crop yields.


Project partner


Underground drip irrigation also functions reliably in expansive crops. Automatic control of the required water quantities according to soil moisture, modelling data and crop types can also be implemented once the project has been completed. The data records and more comprehensive explanations including the analyses from Gut Mennewitz for practical application can be found in the final report.

Final report

Project duration

from September 2017 to September 2022