What’s the connection between precision irrigation technology and one of Israel’s most ambitious nature restoration projects? As a member of the Netafim family for over 15 years I witnessed time and again how identifying a need and dreaming up a solution has led us to develop innovative products and technologies that have made a huge impact on the agriculture industry. But sometimes reality tops anything you can imagine, and out-of the-box thinking takes on a whole new dimension. On December 4, 2014 Israel experienced one of the worst environmental disasters in the country’s history, five million cubic meters of crude oil polluted an area of 15 hectares in the Evrona nature reserve. Oil streams flowed for 7 km from the leak site and formed oil lakes which created a layer of crude oil beneath the surface preventing water from penetrating the soil endangering life in this beautiful and fragile natural ecosystem.
Will digital tools replace the field work of agronomists?
For my fellow agronomists and myself, not too long ago, a field visit was everything: the beginning, the middle, and the end of every recommendation delivered to the farmer. If you wanted to give any advice you hopped into the car, train or a plane arrived at the farm, looked at the crop, felt the soil, asked questions, looked at the irrigation controller outputs, took samples, and wrote recommendations.