Planet image of Tylihul Estuary, Ukraine taken on July 12, 2016 © 2016, Planet Labs Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Leveraging Planet Satellite Imagery to Improve Irrigation Intelligence


Water plays a critical role in sustainable agriculture production and food security worldwide. However, with the world population expected to grow to over 10 billion people by 2050, coupled with climate change, competition for water resources is rapidly increasing, having a particular impact on agriculture. Manna Irrigation, an Ag-Tech company that provides growers around the world with irrigation recommendations, crop monitoring maps, and irrigation planning tools, is using satellite data from Planet to address this challenge. 

According to the World Bank, agricultural production will need to expand by approximately 70 percent by 2050 in order to meet humanity’s basic food and fiber needs. Yet, to date, agriculture occupies nearly 40 percent of the Earth’s surface and accounts for approximately 70 percent of all freshwater withdrawals globally. Given this information, future demand on water will require 25 to 40 percent of water to be reallocated, which is expected to come from agriculture due to its high share of total water use. 

While these numbers may seem daunting, there is space for improvement. The current efficiency of irrigation is low, with less than 65 percent of the water actually being used by the crops, offering room for more sustainable systems to make a difference. 

To combat this growing issue, reallocations of water away from agriculture will need to be accompanied by solutions to improve water use efficiency for farmers and growers in order to meet the needs of a growing population. The magnitude and complexity of this problem accompanied by the arid nature of the Middle East are what led to the foundation of Manna Irrigation.

“Our solution is a sensor-free, software-only approach that leverages high-resolution, frequently refreshed satellite data and hyper-local weather information to deliver highly affordable and accessible solutions for site-specific irrigation recommendations,” said Hovav Lapidot, Director of Marketing and Sales at Manna. 

The Manna Irrigation Intelligence solution delivers actionable information to farmers and growers around the globe so they can make better-informed, more confident irrigation decisions to help combat the global water and food crisis. To do so more effectively and efficiently, Manna will now incorporate our global PlanetScope monitoring and archive into their solution, providing better prediction services for irrigation of agricultural fields. 

“We chose Planet because of their capability of getting updated imagery on a near-daily basis using the Area Under Management approach providing archive and monitoring data,” said Eyal Mor, CEO at Manna. “We believe every grower in the world should have direct access to personalized and affordable irrigation intelligence which allows optimized and efficient irrigation decisions. We are proud to take part in the efforts of helping growers to improve field performance and reduce water usage, supporting sustainable farming,” said Mor. 

With the socio-economic pressures and demanding restrictions around water allocated to agriculture, we are thrilled to see how Manna leverages Planet data to increase agricultural water-use efficiency around the globe.