Friday, July 3, 2009

Plants Save Water by Telling Farmers When to Irrigate

Ever receive a cell phone call from a plant? Next year, some people may.

AgriHouse, an agri-biotechnology company in Colorado, will start marketing sensors that attach to leaves, measure their turgidity, figure out how much moisture they hold and place cellular calls to farmers when the leaves need water.

The sensors bring scientific precision to bear on answering the age-old questions: Is it time to water the crops? And how much should I douse them with?

Farmers tend to water their fields on a set schedule that they arrive at through measurement and experience. Lacking exact moisture readings at the leaf level, they end up over-watering the soil rather than risk letting the plants dry up.

AgriHouse's sensors tell them when and how much to irrigate. About 129 billion liters (34 million gallons) of fresh water are used daily in commercial agriculture the United States, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A savings of just 10% would be dramatic, says the president of AgriHouse.

And it's not only water that's saved, but also the energy used to pump the water.

We know that talking to plants can be good for them. It turns out that plants can talk back -- and what they say can be good for us and the environment.

1 comment:

BeWaterWise Rep said...

Very interesting. At a time when places all around the world are under pressure due to water shortage, being able to irrigate the field only when needed will surely help us use water wisely.
But its not just farmers that need to use water wisely; it is also us consumers who are also facing a water shortage. It is time we did a re-think on the way we use water. is a website with a lot of good tips on how to save water at home, in the garden, in the office or school. Visit this link to read these tips and
Also spread the water conservation word around.

Post a Comment

Copyright 2009- each blog post's respective author. All rights reserved.