8 min

Automating 15K Acres of Citrus

Fully automating over 15K Acres of high-value Citrus with Cutting-Edge Motorola IRRInet Control System from Branif Systems
Written by
Branif Base
Published on
May 24, 2023


In the ever-evolving landscape of agriculture, farmers are constantly seeking innovative solutions to maximize productivity and efficiency. One such grower, faced with the challenge of automating their sprawling 15,000-acre irrigation system, turned to Branif Systems and their utilization of the cutting-edge Motorola IRRInet control system. In this case study, we explore how Branif Systems, powered by Motorola technology, overcame the challenges posed by remote sites, diverse water sources, varying user needs, and sophisticated automation needs. Moreover, we highlight the exceptional robustness and endurance of the Motorola platform, perfectly suited for the variable and arid conditions present in farming operations.

Challenge 01:

Remote Sites with No Reliable Cellular/Internet Connectivity

The remoteness of this grower's fields presented a significant challenge that only the Motorola platform could address. Branif Systems leveraged the cutting-edge Motorola IRRInet control system, which utilized UHF Data Radio Technology. This innovative, yet proven approach allowed seamless communication between remote sites with no reliable cellular or internet connectivity. By harnessing the power UHF, the irrigation system achieved reliable connectivity, enabling real-time monitoring and control even in the most remote locations - in some cases, over 20 miles from any communication backhaul.

Pictured: A Sea Train that houses an IRRInet ACE in an agricultural field. Two antennas are shown, which are typical for our installations. The long "stick-like" antenna is an Omni antenna, whilst the "Three-Pronged" shorter antenna is the Yagi-Directional antenna. The Omni is for the Piccolo XRs, spread out over the field valves in multiple directions. The Yagi points to the customers main gateway, which in this case, is over 20 miles away.

Challenge 02:

Automating Multiple Water Sources within the Same Field

Managing multiple water sources within a single irrigation system can be a complex task. However, Branif Systems tackled this challenge head-on. The powerful ICC PRO software is able to manage multiple water sources that feed to the same mainline. This includes multiple wells, reservoirs and district water. With the Motorola IRRInet control system, the entire irrigation system was interconnected, allowing centralized and automated control that allowed the customer to seamlessly select the appropriate water sources, automatically and eliminating the need for manual and time consuming adjustments, forecasting and budgeting.

Challenge 03:

Different Users with Different Roles

To address the varying user roles involved in managing the irrigation system, Branif Systems defined multiple user levels for the customer. This included "Farm Director, Irrigation Supervisor, and Irrigator". This hierarchy provided role-based access and control, allowing different users, such as farm managers and technicians, to access and control specific functionalities tailored to their roles. By leveraging the flexibility and adaptability of the Motorola platform, collaboration and coordination among stakeholders were significantly enhanced, leading to improved efficiency and streamlined operations.

Challenge 04:

Sophisticated Fertigation and pH Automation Needs

Branif Systems tackled the challenge of sophisticated fertigation and pH automation needs in this customers farming operations. Through ICC PRO's powerful fertigation tools, farmers were able to automate their fertilizer application usage through the irrigation system, known as Fertigation. We worked with our local resale partner who supplied the dosing pumps to integrate and automate the fertigation process through ICC PRO. The client also required the system to dose proportionally to flow in order to precisely apply nutrients to their crop to enhance yields and lower fertilizer costs. We were able to achieve this through modifying the Motorola system's programming. This integration resulted in enhanced crop health, substantial time savings, and improved resource management.

Challenge 05:

Farm Management Wanting Different Systems

Understanding that each farming operation has unique requirements, we were able to offer a modular and customizable solution. This approach allowed farm managers to tailor their irrigation systems to their farms' specific conditions. For instance, some Farm Managers wanted their irrigators to have more comprehensive control over how they define their irrigation programs, while others wanted to simplify "on-the-fly" daily irrigation changes through the Motorola ICC PRO app. With real-time insights, like automatic reporting of system failures, performance monitoring, and data-driven decision-making, farm managers now have to spend less time overseeing their complex irrigation operations to focus on other important duties. The combination of the Motorola platform's endurance and flexibility empowered farmers to optimize their irrigation systems, leading to increased productivity and profitability.

By harnessing the cutting-edge capabilities of the Motorola IRRInet control system, Branif Systems successfully addressed the challenges presented by the grower's request to automate 15,000 acres

*This Case Study was partially written by Generative AI.

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