Cermetek has announced new sensor technology called LeafMon to allow growers to base irrigation decisions on a measure of plant hydration.
Traditionally, growers have irrigated on a schedule. More recently, soil moisture sensors have enabled growers to irrigate only when the ground is dry.
LeafMon technology collects and analyzes new sensor data growers can use to base irrigation decisions on plant conditions. This technology will substantially reduce water use and permit the grower to maintain plants in near ideal conditions to maximize crop quality and yield.
With LeafMon, growers can manage irrigation on a plant-by-plant basis for the most economic use of available water sources.
LeafMon integrates a suite of environmental sensors installed on plants selected as representative of the grower’s crop. The LeafMon unit is non-invasive and mounts to the plant without damaging the leaves.
Safeguarding the plant allows LeafMon to continuously monitor an individual plant throughout the growing season.
LeafMon calculates the Crop Water Stress Index (CWSI) using a set of formulas on environmental variables.
Combining LeafMon with the Cermetek’s AquaMon Internet agricultural water management and control system provides grower access to the plant health information on the company’s web server from any tablet, laptop, or smartphone.
Patents are pending for the LeafMon technology.
The company says some growers today rely on a ‘pressure bomb’ to gain occasional plant stress readings. LeafMon eliminates the labor intensive special trips to the field and allows continuous monitoring without plant damage.
Cermetek expects to ship the first LeafMon products by late spring 2015.
The initial products will target three of California's highest value crops: almonds, grapes, and walnuts.