Agricultural Soil Monitoring
Today most of the world’s habitable land is used for agriculture. One of the most fundamental farming objectives is to increase crop yield, with minimal nutrient and water use and waste.
Sensoil’s agricultural soil monitoring solution enables continuous monitoring and sampling of nitrate, phosphate, potash and moisture, providing real-time, accurate data. Gathered from different depths of the root zone, information is easily accessible from the fields, facilitating real-time adjustments during crop cycles. Sensoil’s VMS supports sustainable agriculture, thus providing both short and long-term benefits.
With a range of factors affecting crop results, the more relevant data that enables farmers to be proactive, the better the chances of a good crop.
Technological means to monitor and control the soil-water conditions are available, however monitoring and controlling nutrient availability in the soil has been far from optimal. Detecting fertilizers’ concentration in the soil requires laboratory analysis of water samples. This requires intensive field and laboratory labor, and limits the required time resolution of tracking fertilizer migration and transformation in the subsurface.
Until now, fertilizer application processes have relied primarily on farmers’ experience and experts’ recommendations. Due to the lack of time-sensitive data on nutrient concentrations in the soil, farmers tend to implement excess fertilization regimes to prevent potential nutrient deficiency and crop damage. Excess fertilization is a common practice, resulting in waste of resources, as well as potential damage to groundwater.
Real-time measurement of nutrient levels in the soil is crucial for optimizing fertilizer application while increasing agricultural yield.
Sensoil’s monitoring system enables in-situ, continuous measurement of nutrients’ concentrations in the soil.
This novel monitoring system includes a series of sensors and pore-water sampling ports. Designed for installation in agricultural depths of the unsaturated zone, the system enables continuous monitoring of the soil and water’s chemical compositions in the root zone and below. Sensor depths can be customized (usually 40-120cm depth). To ensure long-term system function, uppermost sensors should be installed deep enough so as not to be affected or soil cultivation activities (e.g. ploughing). The soil nutrient monitoring sensors combine optical flow cells with soil pore-water sampling devices, supplying accurate data on nutrient concentrations in the soil and deep vadose zone.
Utilizing Sensoil’s VMS technology, the method uses a special analytical procedure that improves measurement accuracy. Measurements conducted by the sensors provide outstanding explicit data, which reveals the complexities of the temporal variation in nutrient concentrations in the soil with respect to irrigation cycles and fertilizers’ application patterns.
Sensoil’s soil monitoring solution empowers farmers in knowledge-based decision-making, permitting time-sensitive adjustments of nitrate, phosphate, potash and irrigation. By utilizing Sensoil’s solution to monitor the vadose zone as well, farmers can reduce the potential threat of groundwater contamination.