Hydra Research Project
FM Farms, our Agricultural Experiment Station for arid/desert agriculture research is a 200-acre facility located near the historical Derawar Fort in the Cholistan Desert, Southern Punjab.
It is here that we apply our research to enhance our understanding of the water, food, and energy nexus at work at the farm scale and to find practical solutions for farmers in arid areas; ranging from combating risks associated with climate change to increasing yields and experimenting with renewable energy sources and salt-tolerant crops.
Through data acquisition from drones and sensors to the application of data-driven models’ results to farming methods, we demonstrate the value of the Hydra K-Platform™ and information based decision making in irrigation, agriculture, and energy at the farm scale.
Area: 200 acres or 0.8 Km
Location: 28.730231, 71.248181
Crops: Wheat, Mustard
No. of Water Sources: 3
The farm runs on two tube wells and a turbine to fulfill its water needs. There is also a solar water pumping site under construction at the moment. The water quality of these resources has been tested to range between 2400-6000 mg/l, making it moderately saline. We’ve so far had three successful crop years using this saline water.
We use water conservation techniques such as ‘Water for Economy’ for irrigation purposes. A 1000 ft transparent plastic tube with a 10-inch opening is used to carry water from the source (usually a well) towards the area where needed. This minimizes any water losses that are incurred using traditional water supplying methods in the area.
The primary crops that we experiment with are wheat and Mustard. Both are winter crops and are sown in the months of November and December and are harvested in spring during the months of March and April.