This research project conducted by Newcastle University investigated the interrelationship between soil health and potato crops by gaining a better understanding of soil properties at root level with particular focus on the effects of O2 and CO2 on plant health.
A remote monitoring system was required to measure soil oxygen, carbon dioxide, acidity, moisture and temperature in addition to ambient lightng levels.
The system had to operate autonomously over the period of a complete growing season, logging and tranmitting data once per hour.
Based on a mixrure of of our green infrastructure monitoring hardware and our EDEN technology platform we developed a fully autonomous solar-powered soil monitoring station for the real-time in-situ in-field measurement of soil parameters including soil moisture, soil temperature, electrical conductivity, pH, CO2, Oxygen, as well as light levels incident on the crop.
The station transmitted monitoring data as well as system health information such as battery charge status and wireless signal level in real time via GSM to our cloud-based platform where to has accessed and interrogated via a secured user account.
TEMPERATURE IN SOIL AND AIR
MOISTURE AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY (SOIL AND AIR)
SOIL OXYGEN LEVELS
SOIL CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS
SOIL ALKALINITY AND ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY
The use of nitrogen based fertilisers has revolutionised agriculture and enables the reliable supply of food to approximately one-half of the world’s population. Due to its success, annual global fertiliser use is expected to reach 300 million tonnes in 2018.
Due its effectiveness fertiliser is often over-applied, impacting farm profitability and resulting in damage to the environment as nitrates are washed from soil into groundwater as rainwater percolates though it.
The build-up of fertiliser in groundwater not only affects drinking water quality, but also results in damage to wildlife, so methods of reducing fertiliser use while maintaining crop yield are required.
Working together with with The John Innes Centre, Rothamsted Research and Cranfield University from the UK, Cultinova developed fully integrated remote soil measurement solution that automatically measures soil nitrate concentration, soil moisture and temperature at multiple points across a field and transmits the resulting data to the Cultinova cloud-platform for on-line storage and analysis.
The system provided invaluable insights into the complex relationships between fertiliser application, soil hydrology and weather conditions and the knowledge gained enables improvements in fertiliser scheduling to be made, resulting in reduce fertiliser use, with benefits to both the farmer and the environment alike.
TEMPERATURE IN AIR AND SOIL
MOISTURE AND RELATIVE HUMIDITY SOIL AND AIR
NITROGEN ION CONCENTRATION IN SOIL
SOIL ELECTRICAL CONDUCTIVITY