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Using Plant-Based Measurements to Plan Irrigation

Posted on March 20, 2020

Being able to predict when crops will need watering could allow for reduced water consumption, leading in turn to reduced costs and a depleted environmental footprint. It also enables the growth of healthier, more productive crops and smaller failure rates.

There are two primary methods of conducting plant-based measurements, especially within greenhouse environments. These are: stem diameter measurements and plant weight measurements.

Stem Diameter Measurements

The health of a plant can often be indicated by its stem diameter, allowing for the monitoring of the effects of irrigation and other environmental factors such as soil quality and light levels.

With the use of a stem diameter sensor, farmers are able to precisely understand the effect of such environmental conditions on their crops. This then enables them to asses healthy irrigation schedules and predict when environmental changes and adaptations will be necessary in order to keep plants healthy.

Continuing developments in sensor technology mean that farmers and growers are now also able to take advantage of smart sensor technology linked to an industrial transmitter, bringing them closer to Industry 4.0 and providing more accurate, more useful information regarding the crops that affect their livelihoods and the plant’s food supply.

Stem diameter measurements are often the least disruptive method of crop health measurement, carrying the least risk to the crop.

Plant Weight Measurements

An alternative to measuring stem diameter is to measure plant weight. This is more disruptive than stem diameter measurement but could allow for more precise measurements of entire plants.

Plant weight measurements are often conducted either when the plant has been harvested, so as to avoid disrupting it mid-growth, or as the plant is growing, allowing for a more real-time approach.

Weight measurements conducted while the plant is still growing carry the risk of disrupting the plant’s growth, but also allow farmers to understand the plant’s health in a more responsive fashion.

At Omni Sensors and Transmitters, we supply a range of agricultural sensors and transmitters through our partnership with industry-leader, Aranet.

To learn more about our agricultural and industrial sensors and transmitters, contact us today or browse our online product range.

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