Stalk-worn sensor to measure crops’ water use

July 31, 2019

Lincoln, Neb. — Wearable technology will soon move from wrist to stalk, swapping measures of blood flow and respiration for sap flow and transpiration.

Their design won’t have anyone confusing growing season with fashion season, but the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s James Schnable and Iowa State University colleagues are developing a Fitbit-like sensor to be worn by corn and other thick-stemmed crops.

Funded by a Breakthrough Technologies award from the National Science Foundation, the researchers are pursuing an elusive goal: measuring rates of sap flow in real time, actual fields and changing weather conditions.

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Story by Scott Schrage | University Communication