Increasing your crop yield has never been easier
Monitoring soil water content is crucial to help growers on optimizing production, preserve water, reduce environmental impacts in soil and water bodies, and save money.
Smart farming has been transforming agriculture. The capability of the Internet of Things (IoT) technology to transform physical objects into smart objects brings a revolutionary age to precision agriculture. Together with LoRa connectivity, the share of information has been simplified and, consequently, amplified to drones, GIS information, sensors precision, and many other technical devices.
The monitoring of soil water content is crucial to help growers on optimizing production, preserve water, reduce environmental impacts in soil and water bodies, and save money.
Sensoterra probes are specialized in soil moisture monitoring for agriculture, horticulture, smart cities solutions, and landscaping activities. A wireless, affordable, easy-to-install sensor, designed for all types of crops and soils, structured to provide the best balance between water and soil. By collecting hourly soil moisture measurements, growers can make smart irrigation decision to improve soil moisture conditions, resulting in yield increases as well as water savings from up to 10-30%.
The use of sensors to measure soil moisture is integrated into multiple production phases as well as being influential to several cost management steps (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Sensoterra probes distributed in the revenue and cost management phases. For yield increase, Sensoterra probes can be implemented on (1) field management, (2) planting, (3) fertilization and (4) harvesting processes. On the other hand, probes can also be used to reduce waste costs, when in (5) machine management, (6) uptime, (7) optimization, (8) logistics.
As seen on the graph, Sensoterra probes can be implemented on revenue and cost processes. In order to achieve revenue increase, the sensors are largely used for field management - to provide greater soil moisture conditions by optimizing irrigation schedule.
Followed by planting and fertilization improvements for better control of soil health, preventing over- or under-irrigation. Over-irrigation can increase energy consumption as well as result in leaching of fertilizers below the root zone, groundwater or even runoff to water bodies. While under-irrigation reduces crop yield. As a consequence, the alignment between better soil health and greater control over crop dynamics and variations allow growers to implement precision during harvest timing.
On the other hand, cost management has been a challenge among farmers. Profitability demands precision irrigation management. Fertilizers control, seed rates, and chemical inputs are a big financial ask for many growers, however, water is a key factor for a more crop per drop approach. For a visible decrease in costs, farmers should invest in risk reduction, and this can only be achieved with soil moisture monitoring. In this sense, Sensoterra probes also help on reducing waste throughout multiple key points in the crop cycle.
During machine management phase, Sensoterra probes - when adjusting soil moisture levels - can potentially reduce the amount of irrigation necessary (drip and overhead) up to 60%, consequently, reducing uptime (by 85%) and extra optimization tools such as neutron moisture meter, electrical resistance blocs, etc. Moving in the same direction, Sensoterra probes can also provide lower expenses with logistics: once soil moisture balance is achieved, fewer machines are necessary for use, in addition to straightforward data, which facilitates uptime and optimization.
Sensoterra is a leading IoT ag tech provider, developing wireless soil moisture sensors. Currently, Sensoterra has over 5,000 sensors in the ground, globally, and was founded in 2015, with HQ based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
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Caroline is a Soil Data Manager at Sensoterra. Previously, she worked as a laboratory analyst, responsible for data analysis of roots and soil, identifying pesticide contamination and plant accumulation. Her background is in Environmental Science, and she is currently obtaining her MS in Water, and Environment at Radboud University.Get in touch