Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Sensors to monitor, regulate moisture content in fields

Economy:A scientist showing the water-saving balls at a field in Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute in Kumulur near Tiruchi.— Photo: A.Muralitharan
The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University’s Agricultural Engineering College and Research Institute at Kumulur near here has developed a couple of sensors to monitor and regulate water and moisture content in agricultural fields.
The sensors can be effectively used for ascertaining whether the plants are too dry and require irrigation.
Water is often wasted extensively by many farmers due to the misconception that more water will ensure higher yield and quality. K. Ramaswamy, Dean of the Institute, observed that the two devices could be effectively used by farmers to maintain optimum level of irrigation and conserve water. The Institute has planned to sensitise the farmers to the importance of conserving water and avoiding excess supply through the use of the devices.
The water sensor contains two balls which act as a switch. Once there is excess flow, the balls starts floating thereby switching off the electrical circuit.
The components can be easily maintained in case of any fault or technical snag. The GSM- based controller has been linked with sensor unit for switching on or switching off the agricultural pumpset. It can also be operated using mobile phone, said Mr. Ramaswamy. Field tests were conducted to evaluate the efficiency of water level sensor in different fields. Crop yield was found to enhance even while achieving economy of water used for irrigation.
The moisture sensor can be utilised to maintain the moisture content at the desired level. Once the moisture level is achieved, the water supply could be switched off.

Source : The Hindu 

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