Conventional methods of irrigation have always required that farmers pay attention to light, humidity, and temperature as well as levels of nitrogen and carbon in the soil. Still, there are dozens of other factors that can determine whether a crop succeeds or fails. For example, if plants experience too much water stress, the pores (stomata) in their leaves close, causing the plant to heat up. Keeping track of all this information and using it efficiently is challenging. That why researchers are working on a cloud-based, thermal-imaging system that is capable of collecting, storing, analyzing, processing, and managing the vast amounts of agricultural data needed to provide an efficient and cost-effective irrigation system for both high-yield crops, such as wheat and corn, and sensitive crops, such as vineyards and tropical fruits.

Read article