Founded April 2013
Investor Trendlines Incubators Israel
CEO Anat Halgoa Solomon
Embedded in the trunks of trees, vines, and plants, the stem-water potential (SWP) sensor provides accurate information for optimized irrigation to reduce water consumption and increase fruit production and quality.
Components of the Saturas precision agriculture sensing system:
Saturas’ SWP sensing system automatically collects accurate data using a minimal number of sensors per hectare and transmits the data to a central control system connected to irrigation controllers for automated irrigation. The technology tailors irrigation to the real-time water needs of the crop, resulting in more efficient water use while increasing yields, fruit size, and sugar content (e.g., vineyards). Embedding the sensor in the trunk eliminates the common problem of damage to sensors that are placed in the soil or on the tree or vine.
As irrigation season begins, we are installing our systems almond, walnut, and prune [dried plum] orchards in California. Leading farmers choose to monitor their trees’ water status with our unique sensor and to schedule irrigation accordingly.
We also are continuing our close collaboration with University of California, Davis Extension agronomists and with leading irrigation companies such as Netafim.
Saturas’ VP Marketing & Sales Avi Shtain, April 2019
Based on successful trials, Saturas received request from growers in Israel and in California to acquire sensors for the next irrigation season and has received interest from leading companies for distribution.
January 2018: Proven technology with Saturas sensors successfully operating in lemon, clementine, almond, and apple trees for more than a year; finalizing sensor assembly procedure for industrial stage
~600 sensors installed in 3 experimental farms and 20 commercials farms in Israel, California, Spain, and South Africa
2017: Established strategic cooperation with Netafim and NaanDanJain (the leading drip irrigation companies in the world) in Israel, Spain, and California for field trials
Saturas has developed a unique sensor-based precision system for optimized irrigation. The sensor is embedded in the fruit trees, in direct contact with the tree’s water tissue to constantly measure its water status. The processed data collected from the sensor enables farmers to improve orchard irrigation, conserve water, increase yield quality and quantity.
Saturas has raised approximately $5m in funding and was awarded an additional $4m in grants, including the prestigious Horizon 2020 Phase-2 grant of $1.5m.
Previous funding has been directed towards R&D, including aspects of mechanical engineering, plant sciences and field trials with strategic partners and markets.
Newly raised funds will be utilized for continued market penetration, production scale-up and additional R&D.
CEO Anat Halgoa Solomon presents at a Trendlines' Showcase.
Experienced CEO with extensive business development activity in the water industry
Recognized world expert in agricultural science; specialization in precision agriculture; Head, Crop ecology Laboratory, Migal, Galilee Technology Center
Previouly, at N.D.J., the leading irrigation company, and Haifa Chemicals, Avi gained vast experience in providing agronomic support to farmers; highly familiar with the global irrigation industry; MA, plant sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, BSc, soil and water science
Years of experience in design of multidisciplinary systems in medical, defense, and industry; experienced in accompanying and developing projects from concept to finished product
Avishai's research focus of his doctoral thesis dealt with various aspects of stress responses in plants (Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 2016); at Tapazol Ltd., an Israeli company involved in agrochemicals, he oversaw field trials in Israel's northern region
Water is becoming scarcer and more expensive. With direct and reliable information on crop water status, farmers can save water and increase yields.
Today, due to the lack of direct and reliable measurement, farmers typically overwater crops by up to 20% “just to be on the safe side.” Overwatering puts pressure on an already scarce and expensive resource, increases pollution from nutrient-rich runoff, affects the quality of the fruit, and reduces profitability.
Stem water potential (SWP) is a scientifically recognized, highly accurate parameter for determining water status in crops. Today, SWP can only be measured manually, using a labor-intensive procedure. Despite numerous approaches to sensor-based irrigation, including measuring soil and leaf moisture, the market lacks a solution that combines accuracy, ease of use, and affordability.
Current solutions are the labor-intensive pressure chamber or costly electronic sensors that measure soil water and stem constriction. They require high maintenance (especially for calibration), have high variance, and lack accuracy. Saturas’ highly accurate sensors are the only ones to offer automatic SWP measurement combined with ease of use and at a significantly lower cost than products currently on the market.
Company estimates for irrigated orchards/plantations (~$675 million/year), vineyards (~$390 million/year), and irrigated cotton (~$200/year) alone indicate a combined potential of more than $1 billion per year.