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Röhren- und Pumpenwerk BAUER > Tes­ti­mo­ni­als > Smar­tRain for 36 Rainstars
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East Riding of York­shire in UK

Happy carrots – smart irri­ga­tion in Yorkshire 

Irri­ga­tion in England? That’s right. After all, sandy soils dry quickly and benefit from the assis­tance of “Smar­tRain”.

“Home of the happy carrot!” is the motto of MH Poskitt Ltd, a family-owned agri­cul­tur­al enter­prise in East Riding of York­shire that grows an impres­sive 50,000 tons of carrots and 9,000 tons of parsnips per year. Poskitts begins with “Green Top” carrots from July through Decem­ber, whilst many of the “happy” orange veggies remain in the ground, covered with straw, to be har­vest­ed from late Decem­ber through until May, allow­ing for fresh har­vests year-round. Root veg­eta­bles for leading super­mar­kets make up the company’s core busi­ness. Carrots are cul­ti­vat­ed on 600 hectares, with parsnips and pota­toes account­ing for another 240 hectares each. These are sup­ple­ment­ed by other crops as well, includ­ing 500,000 pump­kins – largely for Halloween!

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Irri­ga­tion is a key factor for good harvests

Rain­stars for sandy soils

England is an example of how irri­ga­tion can be impor­tant even in rainy cli­mates. For example, the potato fields of Poskitts are sit­u­at­ed on very sandy soils that dry out quickly. “The pota­toes are planted in March and are then irri­gat­ed from early April onwards,” explains farm manager James Thorpe. If the plants don’t get enough water at this stage, the yields remain small.

Even in England, irri­ga­tion is a key factor for good har­vests and con­sis­tent quality, making it no sur­prise that Poskitts has been using Bauer Rain­stars for 30 years now. The veg­etable fields of York­shire are home to 36 of these irri­ga­tion systems, which were upgrad­ed five years ago with the Smar­tRain app.

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Full control over 36 machines

Even at a dis­tance of up to 65 kilometers

With Smar­tRain, farm manager James Thorpe (2nd from left with John Milner (left, Rainmec), Adrian Tindall and Rob Jackson (3rd and 4th from left, both the Bauer Group)) has full control over all 36 machines even at a dis­tance of up to 65 kilo­me­ters. The Rain­stars are con­trolled in teams of five to eight machines. The data pro­vid­ed by the app enables detailed plan­ning of the irri­ga­tion as well as the nec­es­sary reports for envi­ron­men­tal authorities.

The team man­agers are gen­er­al­ly about 16 kilo­me­ters away from the Rain­stars. Some of the irri­gat­ed fields are as far as 65 kilo­me­ters away from the home farm. But the systems can be mon­i­tored and con­trolled from any dis­tance – even while on holiday!

Smar­tRain can also be easily installed on older devices. The two oldest Rain­stars at Poskitts are 20 years old. The Rain­stars only need an energy-inde­pen­dent GPS module for Smar­tRain to work.

Soil mois­ture data is cur­rent­ly col­lect­ed man­u­al­ly. In the future, it could be inte­grat­ed direct­ly into the Smar­tRain system using a weather station.