Journal of
Engineering and Computer Innovations

  • Abbreviation: J. Eng. Comput. Innov.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6508
  • DOI: 10.5897/JECI
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 32

Full Length Research Paper

Applying AquaCrop-OSPy to real-time irrigation

Peter G. Raeth
  • Peter G. Raeth
  • Creative Solutions, Beavercreek, Ohio, USA.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 01 March 2023
  •  Accepted: 07 July 2023
  •  Published: 31 July 2023


Crop and irrigation modeling based on fundamental physics can be very valuable in forecasting requirements and production in preparation for next season's planting/harvesting cycle. AquaCrop is such a model. It forecasts daily watering needs and allows for simple through detailed data input. Its supplied input files offer configurations for various crop, soil, terrain, and irrigation types. If one knows historical weather, it is possible to estimate daily crop water needs in the coming season, assuming the weather of the coming season is similar to previous years. AquaCrop-OSPy is an open-source implementation of AquaCrop, created in cooperation with AquaCrop’s authors. Looking at this irrigation modeling tool from a computer engineering perspective, one begins to realize that AquaCrop-OSPy could be expanded to input real-time weather data and produce real-time signals to an irrigation system. A simple new console would show communication with the irrigation system. This paper discusses and illustrates a proof-of-concept for that possibility. The author started with basic software for querying up-to-date weather data and estimating ETo for a single crop under normal conditions. Those modules were coupled with a microcontroller to confirm what is possible. Those results encouraged an expansion to AquaCrop-OSPy so that it can be used to support fully-automated human-supervised irrigation. All software for this paper is available at Embeddable-Software-for-Irrigation-Control.

Key words: Precision irrigation, precision agriculture, water conservation, AquaCrop, drought mitigation, crop forecasting, irrigation control, irrigation requirements, irrigation methods, soil moisture.