La Niña, Agriculture 4.0, and Irrigation as Risk Mitigation

An Interview with Dr. Lineu Rodrigues of Embrapa

By Jess Bollinger & Pedro Barbieri

This week, activities slowed down just enough to allow us to chat with one of our first Arable users in Brazil, Dr. Lineu Rodrigues. Dr. Rodrigues is one of the world’s leading specialists in irrigation, water resources and hydrology. In November 2020, he was appointed Head of Research and Development at Embrapa Cerrados, which is one of the Units of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation (Embrapa). This unit, with an area of ​​about 3,000 hectares and 340 employees — 98 of whom are researchers — has the mission of generating and making solutions via research, development and innovation possible for the sustainability of the Cerrado Biome, which represents approximately 25% of the area of Brazil. For American readers, Embrapa is a governmental agricultural research company, as is the USDA. The Embrapa Cerrados research team is composed of scientists from different areas of knowledge. Over the past 20 years, Lineu has led important regional work focusing on hydrology and irrigation, looking for alternatives to improve irrigation management and reduce water conflicts in the region. Jess Bollinger spoke with him to find out his views on La Niña and the possible impacts on agricultural production this year for grain producers, and the long-term implications for climate trends in the region.

Arable device installation and configuration at URMA/Embrapa Cerrados, Brazil. URMA = Unidade de Referência em Manejo de Água (Water management reference unit). Photo courtesy Dr. Lineu Rodrigues.
Left: Arable Mark 2 device just after soybeans were planted at URMA/Embrapa Cerrados, Brazil. Right: Arable operating after soybean emergence at URMA/Embrapa Cerrados, Brazil. Photos courtesy Dr. Lineu Rodrigues.
Arable Mark 2 operating in the soybean field of URMA/Embrapa Cerrados, Brazil. Photo courtesy Dr. Lineu Rodrigues.

Natural Resource Management

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store