Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are working on plant-based sensors that measure the thickness and electrical capacitance of leaves to tell farmers when to irrigate. Technology that more accurately detects when plants need to be watered could increase water-use efficiency. In greenhouse tests, leaf clip sensors detected thickness changes in leaves as moisture declined below the wilting point. Researchers are progressing toward a system that would sense changes in plants and let farmers know when to water.
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