While many farmers globally are relying on groundwater and other pumped resources to properly water their crops, the environmental effects of water waste are a big problem in agriculture. Water waste can lead to soil erosion, overwatered crops, and unnecessary spend.

By better optimizing your water usage, you are not only doing your part to conserve one of nature’s most precious resources, but you can also produce healthier crops, all with less water. Here are some tips for water conservation in agriculture.

Go organic

A 30-year trial found that organically-grown corn actually produced 30 percent more than non-organic fields, when drought was taken into consideration. Organic methods of farming help retain soil moisture, add more groundwater, and prevent pesticides from going into streams and other bodies of water.

Install better watering systems

Watering with drip irrigation instead of the traditional overhead spray method can decrease evaporation and save up to 80 percent more water. It also ensure that the water gets to the plants’ roots, which can lead to better growth.

Choose more drought-tolerant crops

All crops you grow need to be ideal for your climate. If plants are native to your region, they will be more likely to succeed in natural weather conditions, such as periods of drought. In addition, if your region usually experiences periods of drought, consider planting crops that are acclimated to periods without enough water. This can help cut down on watering.

Store rain water

Alternatively, in periods of regular rainstorms, consider building rain barrels to store precipitation. When rainy season turns into drought, you are able to use that natural rainwater for crop irrigation.

Better optimize watering times

It is essential to know enough information about your land and crops. Low cost and long-battery life connected sensors running on Sigfox network are able to tell farmers crucial data about their crops and soil, including soil moisture levels and soil temperature so it’s easier to determine if and when to water.

Follow best practices for better soil quality

By focusing on better soil quality, your soil can better hold moisture and oxygen for plants to thrive. This will cut down on the amount of water needed on a regular basis. Good soil management practices include fertilizing with manure, adding compost, and reducing tillage frequency.

Rotate crops

Many farmers rotate the types of crops they plant by season or year, thus providing enough variety for the soil and plants to thrive. Different crops need different soil nutrients and water amounts. By constantly rotating the types of crops, there’s usually a higher crop yield.

Agricultural water conservation does take some effort, but the results are worth the effort. By better conserving water, you’re not only saving a precious natural resource, you’re also helping your crops thrive. Optimize your watering systems with better soil moisture monitoring. Sigfox-enabled sensors allow you to instantly collect soil moisture levels for your land and view it instantly on your phone, tablet, or computer.