Digital tools that make a difference in the orchardBY STAFF AT MOORA CITRUS, AGRIFRESH AND HARVEY CITRUSDigital tools on farm — saving time, money, and water.WEATHER stations used for calculating irrigation scheduling.West Australian citrus businesses were asked questions about their use of digital tools as part of the industry tour. Here are some of the responses.1 Why are you looking at or using digital tools?• Saving time is a big incentive. I don’t have time to run around between sites turning irrigation on and off. There are so many other jobs that also need doing.• It means I can also go on holiday with the family and know that I will get an alert that I can check while I’m away.• I want to know how much water I should put on for my orchard as accurately as possible.• There’s a lot of data coming in; it would be good to be able to see the data in a meaningful way.• There’s a lot of double handling of paperwork and delays because of having different sites.• Improving accuracy and occupational health and safety are what we are aiming to get out of the tool, as well as time saving.• Installations make attractive to investors.2 What digital tools are you using?Weather stations on site for calculating irrigation scheduling.Soil moisture probes at 10–30cm and 80cm for assessing whether scheduling is right.Electrical conductivity (EC) meter.Sap flow meters to see what’s happening in the tree: early research.Dendrometers to see trunk and fruit growth: early research.Monitoring and control systems (collect data and control irrigation system).Dashboards to present data in a meaningful format.Score card using Excel spreadsheet to produce packout reports.Remote imaging for crop forecasting and tree stress (satellite’s, planes, drones).TABLE 1. A COMPARISON OF TOOLS USED FOR IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT3 What did you think about when choosing digital tools?Some of the factors to consider for the irrigation management tools are listed in Table 1.Connectivity was also a factor to be considered when installing sensors to take advantage of the time efficiencies gained from remote data download.