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Short Updates on interesting applications using our sensor solutions.

Monitoring plant growth and irrigation needs in a nursery using digital weight sensors

Monitoring plant growth and irrigation needs in a nursery using digital weight sensors

Drought conditions in California has led to steep increases in cost of water for agricultural use this year.  Vegetable and fruit growers as well as nurseries are paying close attention to the amount of water they use for irrigation purposes.  

Farmers typically use sprayers to spray water onto plants at regular intervals.  However, this method leads to uniform spraying across a wide area.  Some plants may be getting more water and some less due to non-uniform distribution of the sprays.  Furthermore, since it is based purely on time, even when rainfall has taken place on some days, the water is still sprayed.

Instead of using water at pre-scheduled if growers monitored individual plants to track their growth and measure the amount of moisture in the soil in each pot, they can individually measure the amount of moisture in the soil and turn/off the irrigation faucets for each plant.

To do this, LoadstarSensor's digital weight scales come in really handy.  Each scale has a 8" x 8 " platform over which the potted plant can be placed.  These scales are connecting into a sensor router which continuously measures the weight and uploads the information into the Cloud.  A user can log into the service from any PC or SmartPhone and see how much the weight of the pot and plant have changed.  On a daily basis, the decrease in weight can be attributed to the decrease of moisture in the soil.  On a longer term basis, the increase in weight of the pot and plant gives the farmer an idea of the growth of the plant.  During harvesting time, when fruit is removed, one can easily then estimate the yield of fruits or vegetables from that particular lot.

This StockVUE solution can thus be adapted easily to reduce water consumption, save on cost as well as improve yields from nurseries.

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