Crop hot spot

Lancaster University in the UK is working on an irrigation system, which would let growers know when their plants are thirsty.

As plants become too dry they show “signs of stress” and warm up. This warming shows up as warm spots on a leaf viewed with a thermal imaging camera.


Conventional and thermal camera imaging systems on an irrigation boom would be passed over the crops at regular intervals collecting information about how much water each plant needed. The data would be fed into an irrigation system which would then robotically deliver a precise, targeted amount water to each plant, according to demand.

Within the next four years, the scientists, working with horticulturalists and a consortium of enterprises across the UK, hope to develop this automated watering device.

Professor Bill Davies, Director of the Lancaster Environment Centre, said: “This technology is potentially revolutionary in that it lets the plant tell you when it is thirsty and exactly how much water it needs.”

Via The Engineer.

More fuss-free farming: e-sheeps do it for themselves, cows do milk themselves.