June 11, 2015
Prize recipients: Norbert Pestka (Managing Director at German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce), Kaija-Leena Korolainen (Yara Chief Human Resource Officer), Simon Rüger (Yara Manager Water Crop Sensing Application R&D), Tord Lien (Norwegian Oil and Energy Minister), Torsten Albig (Ministerpräsident Schleswig-Holstein)
Under a sunny blue June sky in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, the Norwegian-German Chamber of Commerce held its sixth annual summer party on June 10, and, at the same time, celebrated an innovative company that over the past year has worked to strengthen the cooperation between the two countries. This year, Yara beat the competition and brought home the prize with its Yara ZIM Technology – the water sensor solution.
“Yara nominated the water sensor solution, which measures the relative changes in the leaf’s turgor pressure – or “water” / “blood” pressure of the plant. Since the turgor pressure is the driving force for plant growth and fruit production, proper water management is key, ” says Yara’s Precision Farming Director, Magnus Rambraut. “By using the water sensor solution, the farmers will reduce water consumption, save energy, reduce tree maintenance and sustain maximum yield,” he adds.
The Yara ZIM Technology is the most advanced and reliable technology to monitor the water status of crops. Freshwater availability is quickly becoming one of the major global challenges. Currently, agriculture uses about 70% of freshwater withdrawals. If water use efficiency is not improved, by 2030 the agricultural sector alone will need more water than is sustainably available. The ZIM water sensor technology reduces water usage by up to 25%.
The recent droughts in California have been catastrophic for agriculture. Water resource management is therefore becoming increasingly more important in areas with little rainfall.
Yara’s water sensor technology received more than 4,000 votes via an online tool open to the public on the German-Norwegian Chamber of Commerce’s website. At the event, which was attended by some 150 people representing businesses from both countries, Simon Rüger, Manager Water Crop Sensing Application R&D, accepted the prize on behalf of Yara.
“I’m pleased to see that the jury and the voters see the value of the innovative solution which has been developed by Yara and will support both a profitable and responsible intensification of food production,” says Rüger. “The water sensor solution will enable the farmer to utilize a scarce resource like water in a sustainable way and still sustain maximum yield,” he adds. “I’d like to thank the entire team for their collaborative work and dedication.”
The prize consisted of a sculpture made by Norwegian artist Knut Henrik Henriksen and a diploma.
“This is a confirmation that technology in combination with Yara’s crop knowledge is a winning concept. And this motivates us to further develop the water solution to be an important element among Yara’s Precision Farming tools and services for fertigation, where crop knowledge, product portfolio and application competence is done through irrigation,” says Magnus Rambraut.