Since the end of June, Dieng Plateau in Central Java has experienced frost caused by below freezing temperatures.
The frost eventually impacted agricultural crops in the area. Many vegetables such as potatoes, carrots, cabbage, chilli peppers, and tomatoes have been covered in the frost.
When the dew freezed, farmers usually sprayed the agriculture to thaw the ice. But this actually will cause excess water in the soil (drainage stress) and increase pest and disease possibilities in the plant. This is because the water amount is above what it needs.
“Spraying the young plants will damage the bark, stem, and leaf, because the frost and spraying hitting the plant will add a burden to the plant,” said Kholishotul Ma’rifah, Agricultural Technology student of UGM on Monday (1/7) on campus.
Along with fellow students Setiyawati, Denis Tio Yudhistira, and Muhammad Fiqi Rohman, and under the guidance of Dr. Ngadisih, they introduced a method to resolve the problem during a Student Creativity Programme for Technology event.
Mist Irrigation Pencegah Embun Upas (MISI HEMPAS) is a method made in order to improve agricultural productivity in Leksana village of Banjarnegara regency.
The tool was installed at the land of farmer Sugiyanto on Tuesday (25/6). An automatic sprinkle was installed at the 2 m x 3 m land grown with chilli peppers, while another plot of land was given control treatment or manual sprays.
The automatic sprinkle was made using water pumps to distribute the water from tanks. The pump was connected to an Arduino Uno based microcontroller using DHT11 sensor to read the temperature and humidity. A relay 1 pin was installed on the automatic mode, serving as a switch connected between the pump and microcontroller.
The sprinkle had been tested at the laboratory and the result showed uniformity of drips at 80%. The sprinkle was set ON when the temperature reached below 10 C and humidity was over 80%. The tool would go OFF when temperature rose above 10 C and humidity was under 80%.
”This method is expected to help the farmers in Dieng to resolve the frost problem so that the agricultural productivity can be maintained,” she concluded.