According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United States, Agriculture accounts for 70% of all water consumption; however, the efficiency rate of that water consumption is very low. Most of the water drains off or is evaporated. Only a small percentage of that water consumption is actually used for plant growth.
What effect does this have on the Agriculture industry? A lower efficiency rate results in wasted resources and decreased productivity. As fresh water supply becomes increasingly limited as the years go on, it is imperative for the Agriculture industry to strategize ways to increase water consumption efficiency for sustainability.
A University measured plant performance based on efficient water consumption. Their goal is to secure future food production no matter what climate challenges are faced. Potted plants were monitored continuously for their water consumption during growth and weighed in ambient conditions.
The measurement system needed to be resistant to temperature noise to provide reliable and accurate results. Load cells that were specifically tailored to greenhouse conditions were used to track small increments in weight over a long period of time. These load cells withstood the temperature fluctuations and high humidity environmental conditions. This measurement system is expected to save costs by optimizing nutrient delivery and boosting crop yield, due to early detection of stress and reducing water and fertilizer use.
Though this was not a Solutions Project GRM was involved in, this goes to show how metrology is used to solve various problems. If you’d like to decrease wasted resources, increase productivity and efficiency, we’d love to help you strategize! Our Solutions Team specializes in process automation and custom measurement systems to meet your specific goals.
“Load Cells Help Optimize Water Efficiency In Stressed Climate.” Weigh & Measure, Apr. 2019, pp. 10+.