Seeds, soil and sensors – the story of Sensoterra
Monitoring soil moisture allows farmers to make effective and smart irrigation decisions. Too much water in the soil leads to waterlogged areas and root-rot damage, while too little will harm crop growth.
Three percent of the world’s water is accessible freshwater. Of that, 70 percent of the freshwater consumed is used in the agricultural industry – the largest consumer of water globally. Monitoring soil moisture allows farmers to make effective and smart irrigation decisions. Too much water in the soil leads to waterlogged areas and root-rot damage, while too little will harm crop growth. Sensoterra together with Land Life Company appears in James Blackman's (technology and telecoms sector writer) article as a solution for water-saving and smart irrigation demands for agriculture, horticulture, landscaping, smart cities and nature restoration.
Sensoterra is a leader in soil moisture sensors, moved by IoT technology and LoRaWAN connectivity; which allows sensors to be fully wireless and reach the most remote areas. Born from a nature-restoration need to control water sources for trees growth in remote areas - carried out by Land Life Company cocoons - Sensoterra sensors rapidly occupied agricultural and landscaping markets as a low-cost monitoring system.
Soil is not homogenous, it holds moisture differently in different areas. Low-cost probes offer real-time insights into the soil moisture of crops, across varied terrains, affording smarter management of irrigation systems.
Sensoterra claims an average diameter range of 1.5 miles between its probe and the gateway. Ease of installation is a key feature, it says. Multi-depth LoRa probes can be installed in minutes and online in less than an hour later. An open API is available for data integration.
“Sensors must be low cost, easy to install and last for long periods in the field. Only these characteristics will allow growers to scale deployments and benefit from true operational visibility,”
Jurriaan Ruys (Sensoterra CEO)
There was a need for this type of system in agriculture, horticulture, and landscaping. IoT firm Senet has opened up a global market by providing the base-line LoRaWAN infrastructure. Sensoterra, the firm set up to sell the solution, has deployed over 5,000 sensors worldwide, mainly in Europe and North America, and has achieved 720,000 data points since launch in 2014.
An Idaho potato grower has used the system to manage pivot irrigation, and reduce water consumption by 30 percent by decreasing irrigation rounds based upon soil moisture metrics. With sensors, growers can precisely identify when it is too wet or too dry, making it possible to get the best yield out of it.
The city of Albuquerque reduced water waste in public landscaping with the system after drought in New Mexico. The data collected was integrated into its irrigation systems for precision irrigation. The city’s department of parks reduced labor costs and recouped its expenses within three months.
Multiple case studies with Sensoterra sensors show that is possible to use and adapt sensors to any crop, soil and irrigation types.
Sensoterra is a leader in smart farming technology, providing wireless, low-cost soil moisture sensors to growers all over the world. The incredible spreadability of over 5,000 sensors around the world is possible due to IoT technology, established by LoRa connectivity. Sensoterra goes for precision and simplicity, with easy-installed robust sensors.
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