"I can share images with my employees through the app on their phone. It’s not like they’re standing at the hood of a pickup with a map and I’m trying to tell them where to go—with Ceres Imaging, I can actually get them to the exact location."
Farm manager

A private, family-owned almond farm has operated in California’s Central Valley since the 1970s. The sustainability-minded management team often experiments with new technology and farming practices to conserve resources.

Crop Type
Almonds
Location
Merced and Stanislaus counties, California
Category
Irrigation
Highlight
Helps to make sure our investments are running properly.

The problem

A family-owned almond operation in the Central Valley implemented drip irrigation specifically because of its commitment to water conservation and efficiency. But maintaining nearly 4,000 acres of underground irrigation equipment is time-consuming and expensive: from plugged lines to broken valves and uneven pressure, the system requires close attention. Farm management wondered if imagery could help streamline irrigation operations.

The solution

From the very first flight, imagery revealed specific areas under water stress and helped guide further investigation into minute differences in soil composition across the orchard. "This technology has brought a lot of focus down to maintaining proper pressure on irrigation valves and hose ends," the farm manager says. "Ceres Imaging makes it possible to take images to the guys in the field and show them exactly how irrigation issues are affecting that specific tree. We sometimes tend to think one irrigation valve isn’t that big of a deal, but when I see an image with massive color variation I quickly realize we need to pay more attention to that."

The outcome

"We’re dealing with crops worth thousands of dollars per acre. Ceres Imaging helps to make sure our investments are running properly," the farm manager says.

ca_almond_grower_clogged_line
Linear patterns in water stress imagery may reveal a maintenance issue with a drip irrigation system. In this case, the long red streak on the right suggests a clogged line.
Ceres Imaging has provided me with more information than I ever guessed it would in the beginning. Everyone likes to think their operation is perfect and they’ve got everything under control—but what I found is that the imaging can show you a lot you might miss because you’re focused on other things.
Farm manager

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