Industrial News

Any farmer will tell you that the conditions of the soil change constantly throughout the growing season. The soil conditions are influenced by the weather, row density, crop patterns, and more. During this period, the plants are continuously changing and adapting to the environment. The plant’s roots and shoots grow in soil most advantageous to growth.

To help farmers adjust to these ever-changing conditions, soil and water sensors are being employed. In the past, farmers collected soil and water conditions from the field by scouting and collecting soil and plant samples. These samples were sent off to a lab for testing, taking maybe precious weeks for results.

Today, because of recent developments in soil and water monitoring, the critical information is being received in real-time measurements from the field, helping farmers make faster, more accurate crop production decisions.

Farmers are now using sensors to monitor particular sectors of the field, enabling them to react quickly to changes in the land and crops. The use of smaller and less-complex sensors is making quick response possible. This allows farmers to turn soil sensor readings, weather, and historical crop data into actionable perception by seeing the bigger picture.

Soil is never consistent across a field and this inconsistency is often amplified at the sensor level. Multiple sensors can statistically improve the accuracy and track the active changes, which are variable across a field. A wet area in the spring may become dry later as the crop grows and uses up the water. Sensor-based measurements are providing more specifics, such as moisture levels, fertilizer effectiveness, and plant reaction to variable conditions, including temperature and light. These sensor measurements permit farmers to take action when a field condition, such as low water levels, produces a stress reaction.

Soil moisture sensors estimate the volume of water content based on the dielectric constant of the soil. The dielectric constant indicates the soil’s capability to transmit electricity. As the water content of the soil increases, the dielectric constant of the soil increases, because the dielectric constant of water is much larger than the other soil components, including air. Therefore, the measurement of the dielectric constant gives a predictable assessment of water content.

Read more: Soil Moisture Sensors in Agriculture