31-01-2014 07:40 AM | United Kingdom

Ploughable sensors help farmers get more crop per drop

At the end of March several small bundles of electronics will be ploughed into a field in Cheshire, UK. The sensors will measure soil temperature and moisture content, then transmit those measurements wirelessly to the surface. It is the kind of information farmers around the world need to conserve water while still growing enough crops to feed an expanding population.

Currently being tested in lab soil at the University of Manchester, UK, the sensors are cheap to produce, low-power and can be left to gather information in the soil for years without maintenance. They use radio frequency identification to communicate and harvest a small amount of power from an RFID reader mounted on a tractor that collects the data as it moves over each node, says Chuan Wang, who works on the project at the university.
Full Story : New Scientist