JOURNAL OF THE ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY
Soil monitoring is emerging as a key factor to manage smart farming which has been recommended to have economical food safety and security. Among various development for example internet of things assisted farming, electrochemical sensing system are getting popularity via detecting one or multiple soil component effectively, efficiently, and selectively for soil quality assessment remotely via data sharing and site of location just like point-of-care soil heath care. Considering scenarios, this perspective is designed to describe state-of-the art electrochemical sensing technology developed for soil quality. The associated challenges, possible alternatives, and potential prospects are also discussed in this perspective.
澳大利亚公司FieldMicro推出其自动化的农业和农场控制监控系统。FieldMicro的自动化农业和农场控制监控系统包括SmartFarm平台，该平台使用智能技术使农业更简单，更高效。 由Fieldbot提供支持的FieldMicro SmartFarm FieldMicro公司的SmartFarm平台由FieldBot提供动力，这是一种便携式远程控制设备，可以连接到农场设备/硬件上。FieldBots配备有内置的太阳能电池板、高清摄像机以及监视温度、气压、湿度、运动、声音等的传感器。FieldBot可控制连接的农场硬件、农场资产和基础架构，并与大多数当前设备兼容。应用实例包括牲畜监测和控制，控制农场闸门、水槽、绞车、灌溉闸门、雨量计和任何其他项目，例如启动或关闭水泵。 FieldBot配备了witg摄像头和麦克风 FieldBot包括一个用于拍摄静态图像的640x480p高清摄像机和一个用于收听的麦克风。该智能设备提供大气/环境监测、GPS定位、热/火焰探测和运动跟踪。农场主可以根据农场的需要安装尽可能多的Fieldbots，并通过智能手机、平板电脑或电脑上的SmartFarm平台来控制它们，根据FieldBot传感器阵列的输入进行监控、激活或通知。FieldMicro公司基于云的SmartFarm平台是FieldBot的控制中心，可提供实时监控、基础设施自动化、卫星图像和对农场运营的更深入了解。这个在线平台允许农民看到和听到他们的FieldBots看到和听到的东西。 灌溉控制系统 SmartFarm允许用户在任何时间、任何地点通过点击一个按钮来控制他们的基础设施。用户可以控制他们的灌溉系统，开关阀门，打开闸门，监测水箱和湿度水平，查看实时视频，收听实时音频，并从他们的操作中心关闭水泵。由于该系统基于云，因此用户可以在世界任何地方控制他们的农场。SmartFarm具有移动应用程序和桌面控件，它的自定义用户界面使平台尽可能直观。 卫星影像 SmartFarm的中央卫星显示器可以显示每一个FieldBots的位置，并能够将其他叠加图直接绘制到农场地图上。卫星图像包括短波红外选项，显示隐藏的水分、热量或其他生物、地质和人造材料的来源。SmartFarm的设计易于使用且直观，可显示来自第三方供应商的一系列天气和环境数据。 访问实时图像和声音 用户还可以通过FieldBot的高清摄像头和麦克风访问实时图像和声音，以及来自FieldBot单元的所有被动数据，例如温度、湿度和大气压。通过轻松下载历史数据，农民可以利用您的FieldBots收集的信息，自信地做出当前和未来的商业决策。SmartFarm平台允许用户为每个FieldBot或一起充当节点网络的多个FieldBots设置规则。可以为连接到FieldBot的任何设备设置规则，从而可以激活连接到不同FieldBot的另一个设备。例如，在要灌溉的农作物的脚下设置一个FieldBot，如果或当FieldBot感觉到水时，它将执行用户设置的规则，在这种情况下，它将指示另一个FieldBot关闭其连接的灌溉泵，然后向SmartFarm用户发送一条消息，以提醒他们该事实。 合作伙伴约翰迪尔 FieldMicro公司已与John Deere公司合作，将实时数据直接提供给SmartFarm平台，从而可以更深入地了解农民的拖拉机和设备的操作和服务历史。用户可以在SmartFarm平台上实时查看兼容的John Deere机器的位置和其他实时数据。可用信息包括车辆信息，如燃料、机油和液压油位等。指令也可以从SmartFarm平台发送到机器上。SmartFarm将显示与之兼容的John Deere设备的过去使用情况和覆盖范围，并通过彩色编码的覆盖图显示农民是否开车太慢或太快。SmartFarm的位置历史记录还允许用户查看机器在过去60天内24小时内走过的路径，包括位置、地面速度、航向和机器状态信息。 远程访问John Deere机器 农民可以远程访问他们的John Deere机器来解决问题或进行更改，而无需前往实地。他们可以查看设备的运行状况以及在哪里（包括燃料使用情况），同时通过地理围栏和宵禁警报保护机器。
Precision farming technology is helping Western Cape farmers deal with drought and climate change. The Western Cape province in South Africa is known for its horticulture – deciduous and citrus fruit, berries, vineyards, and vegetables. It also produces livestock, meat and dairy, and field crops like wheat, barley, and canola. Increasing need for irrigation All need water – and lots of it. Climate change forecasts for the Western Cape suggest warming of 1.5°C to 3°C by around 2050. While the need for irrigation increases, the restocking of existing water sources becomes more unsure. Simply put, farmers need to produce “more crop per drop”. Dam levels decreasing Since 2013 dam levels have slowly been decreasing with three years of gravely deficient rainfall from 2015 to 2017. The period was regarded as the driest three-year period in more than 80 years, and 2017 was the region’s driest year since 1933 – a ‘one in 400-year’ event. The Western Cape Department of Agriculture launched a service called FruitLook to deciduous fruit and grape farmers in the Western Cape. FruitLook was developed by a Dutch company, eLeaf, and is supported in South African by the company Blue North. Satellite data The portal provides weekly information on crop growth, evapotranspiration deficits and crop nitrogen status for irrigation blocks in orchards and vineyards. Using satellite data, FruitLook delivers quantitative, spatial information on water, vegetation, and climate. The data assists farmers in understanding better the effects of their water use and crop management decisions. This, in turn, reduces costs by saving on inputs. Currently, the FruitLook services are offered free of charge to the farming community. FruitLook is an invaluable tool for farmers that had nothing else in place to be water efficient and climate-smart. Precision farming practices can get farmers through tough times The consulting company, Agrimotion, worked together with fruit farmers in the Western Cape to use precision farming to survive the worst drought in eighty years. According to CEO, Coenrad Fraenkel, Agrimotion used the concept of water budgeting to help farmers manage their water quotas and available water in their dams throughout the drought. A drone with a camera took high-resolution contour images of dams to measure the precise capacity of dams and how much water was available for use. Requirements for effective irrigation scheduling The three minimum requirements for effective irrigation scheduling was used to determine how much water would be needed in the orchards. The three basics are: A weather station to monitor seven days in advance what the weather demand will be; A flow meter to precisely capture the amount of water that reaches each orchard; Soil observations with the help of a soil auger or soil moisture (capacitance) probes in the root zone to monitor that the soil moisture was ideal during critical phenological stages and to a depth of 80cm. Avoiding deep drainage Regulated deficit irrigation (RDI) principles were used to ensure optimal soil moisture during the different growth stages of the crop. Probes were closely monitored to make sure that deep drainage (water passing 80cm) was avoided. The soil moisture readings were determined with soil moisture probes or physical feeling/evaluation of the soil where possible. By knowing how much water was available and how much was needed, irrigation priorities could be set. Orchards were classified into five categories, and the water budget allocated the available water according to each category. The easiest way to do this is to divide profit per cubic meter of water applied and rank orchards from highest to lowest. Orchards are nocked off from the bottom of the list until the water usage from the previous season matches the available water supplies. Soil Moisture Probes for precision irrigation Soil moisture probes measure plant-available water as a function of soil volumetric water content as it relates to matric potential (the strength of the bond between a soil particle and a water molecule). Each soil type, crop and variety have different irrigation needs which means that placing the probes in the most representative locations is paramount to using the data they generate correctly to make the right irrigation decisions. With the latest probe technology, farmers are able to allocate the exact amount of water needed to conserve water for later in the season when it is needed. Any sensor used for irrigation purposes needs to help the grower answer two questions: when to irrigate and how much. ‘When’ relates to the starting soil moisture before irrigation and what RDI principle is being followed. ‘How much’ relates to the soil’s texture and how deep the water infiltrates when it is applied. Take out alien plants that compete for water Good water conservation practices included chopping up alien plants to be used for mulching in orchards. Farmers that could afford the outlay erected net structures to conserve plant moisture. These practices assisted in keeping soil moisture from evaporating as fast in the uncovered conditions. Converting blocks from micro-irrigation to drip irrigation also helped to increase on water use efficiency drastically. Soil and water chemistry changes in times of drought Water quality deteriorates as dam levels go down and boreholes start to run dry. Soil chemistry needs to be carefully managed since deep drainage (leaching) is being limited, salts are being added to the soil through poor quality water and rainfall is limited. Frequent soil sampling and testing to determine the change in salt content must continue even after the drought to protect the yield capacity in the first year after the drought. Sharing of information is vital for the community to pull through Collaboration within a farming community helps so that all parties get as much water as possible. The water budget can be done on a macro scale to benefit the whole community. In the Western Cape, the Grabouw farmers were able to put water back into the Bosteenbrasdam to be used by the city of Cape Town. Sharing information between industry parties ended up benefiting everybody. Agrimotion, for example, trained farmers for free on the farmers days to share in the water budgeting principles and effective scheduling techniques. Incentives for better water management Imagine a system where farmers get rewarded with more water for better water management. Unfortunately, the South African regional Waterboard do not have the sophisticated systems to do just this. However, smarter water use such as the precision water budgeting, effective irrigation scheduling techniques and investing in drip irrigation as described above leads to higher profits per litre of water used. More Crop per Drop, so to say.
When it comes to nifty farm gadgets and technology, there are many neat tools. Tractor guidance is definitely one of them, thanks to how it helps farmers better use their resources. Tractor guidance allows farmers to be more precise when using a tractor to perform tasks in the field. These tasks include planting, spraying herbicide, and applying fertilizer. But how does this precision turn into savings for a farmer? Amanda Ashworth of the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and a team of researchers worked to find out. Their results point to benefits for small farms, many of which do not currently use this tool. "Precision agriculture technologies improved the on-farm efficiencies by up to 20% based on our work," Ashworth says. "There is a lot of room for more adoption of the technology on small farms. This would possibly lead to economic and environmental savings." A farmer in a tractor makes a series of passes across a field to plant seeds or spray chemicals. Anywhere there is overlap in these passes is inefficient because it's an unnecessary double application. In addition to overlap, gaps of the field not covered in passes are also bad. It's a missed opportunity to improve crop production. Tractor guidance uses GPS to help reduce these overlaps and gaps. It also allows researchers to track and record tractor movements. The researchers helped improve an existing calculation to best measure these overlaps and gaps. It particularly helped where the tractor turns around at the end of a row. The team's results suggest that tractor guidance reduces overlaps by up to 6% and gaps by up to 16%. Farmer's profits are made on small margins, so a small decrease in fertilizer costs, for example, can be very beneficial. Also, fertilizer that runs off a field can harm waterways, so being able to apply just the correct amount can benefit the environment. While many large crop producers use tractor guidance, they only make up about one fifth of farms in the United States. The rest are small farms. These smaller farms are often slower to learn about and adapt to these new technologies. All combined, increases in efficiencies with tractor guidance on small farms could result in saving U.S. producers more than $10 million. The precision tool has other benefits, too, such as letting drivers operate in low light to get more work done during the evening. "Not all agricultural areas receive information on technology at the same rate, so there is work to be done here," explains Ashworth. "The small farm systems have high potential for adoption, which would impact the greatest numbers of farms." The team's new method for calculating the benefits of tractor guidance can be easily used on many small fields to gather more data. Their hope is that it can help more famers learn about and adopt the tool since it can pay for itself - even on small farms. Next, the researchers want to understand how field slope and objects in the way, such as trees or ponds, affect tractor guidance. "Agriculture is moving toward using more technology for farm management decisions," Ashworth says. "We want to get a better understanding of current technology applications and how well they work. This will help us have a better idea of how to improve, develop, and integrate different components for improved production efficiency."
By introducing fluorescence protein sensors into live plants, a novel method that allows in planta measurement of NADPH level and NADH/NAD+ ratio in different cell types has been developed. These transgenic lines enable scientists to visualize the dynamic changes of these molecules in different subcellular compartments in real-time, to study photosynthesis and photorespiration. Plants harvest energy from the sun and use this to fix CO2 from the atmosphere to produce complex organic molecules which are the basis for life on the earth. The process of photosynthesis takes place in leaves and other green parts of the plant where chloroplasts are main players of the process but the whole cell is involved. In plants, the shift between respiratory metabolism in the dark and photosynthetic metabolism in the light makes redox control of metabolism particularly complex. For an efficient process the redox states of all cellular compartments must be coordinated but is has been very difficult to obtain In planta data on this important aspect. During C3 photosynthesis, for every 3 fixed CO2 molecules, about one O2 molecule is mistakenly fixed by Rubisco in chloroplasts. The recycling of the photorespiratory product involves reactions in both chloroplasts, peroxisomes and mitochondria. In connection to this it is commonly agreed that redox transfer between the compartments involved is important and that malate-OAA exchange contributes to this. However, the redox balance between the compartments is not well established and several suggestions can be found in the literature. To study this question, an international team of researchers led by Dr. Boon Leong Lim of the School of Biological Sciences of the University of Hong Kong adopted fluorescent protein sensors to specifically monitor in planta dynamic changes in NADPH and NADH/NAD+ ratio in young leaves. The redox states of chloroplasts, cytosol and peroxisomes could be followed during transitions between dark and light with an emphasis on interplay between photosynthesis and photorespiration. Conventional detection methods require extraction and purification of these redox metabolites and subsequent determination by chemical methods. These methods have a few drawbacks as they are incapable of real-time, in planta measurements, nor measurement of these molecules in different cell types or different subcellular compartments. "Our novel technique can circumvent all of these problems. By employing these novel fluorescent protein sensors, we found that photorespiration supplies a large amount of NADH to mitochondria during photosynthesis, which exceeds the NADH-dissipating capacity of the mitochondrial respiratory chain. Consequently, the surplus NADH must be exported from the mitochondria to the cytosol through the mitochondrial malate-OAA shuttle. (Figure)", said Ms. Sheyli Lim, a PhD student and the first author of a manuscript published in Nature Communications. "Solving this question allows us to understand more about the energy flow between chloroplasts and mitochondria during photosynthesis, which could help us to booth the efficiency of photosynthesis in the future". "The ability to get in vivo estimations on subcellular redox states gives important novel information on regulation of plant metabolism. The results highlight the close connection between the different subcellular compartments to achieve an efficient process. I have for a long time been studying the mitochondrial contribution to photosynthetic metabolism so for me this aspect has been most interesting" said co-author Prof. Per Gardeström of Umeå University. Dr. Lim added: "We are the first group to introduce these three novel energy (ATP, NADPH, NADH/NAD+) sensors in plants. I wish they will have wide applications in researches regarding plant bioenergetics.".
A problem to be solved by the present invention is to obtain a nutriculture system that can manage a growth environment of a plant in accordance with the state of the plant, to thereby produce good quality vegetables and fruits with low production costs. The nutriculture system 100 of the present invention is a nutriculture system for cultivating a plant 10 using a nutrient solution L. The nutriculture system comprises : a growth unit 110 that grows a plant; a nutrient solution tank 131 that accommodates the nutrient solution; a measuring unit 140 that measures concentration of at least one ion of a plurality of ions contained in the nutrient solution; and a control unit that controls the growth environment of the nutriculture system on the basis of change of measurement values of ion concentrations.