Plants Text Message Farmers When Thirsty

ScienceDaily (May 5, 2008) — Beginning this crop season, farmers will be able to receive text messages on their cell phones from their plants saying whether they are thirsty or not.

Accent Engineering, Inc., of Lubbock, Tex., developed the SmartCropTM automated drought monitoring system based on a patent held by the Agricultural Research Service (ARS). They are offering it for sale in time for this growing season.

Battery-operated infrared thermometers placed in irrigated fields monitor leaf temperatures and relay that information to a computerized base station. A cell phone modem can be hooked up to the base station to download data to a personal computer. This modem can also send text messages to a farmer's cell phone.

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