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Camera System Could Provide Cost-Effective Crop Monitoring for Irrigation

The University of Missouri and USDA Agricultural Research Service have developed a camera system to cost-effectively monitor crop temperatures and indicate irrigation needs. The system combines a digital camera that provides detailed crop images with a miniature infrared camera that indicates hot, under-watered plants. Combined with an algorithm that filters non-plant presences out of images, the technology could help farmers tailor irrigation to the needs of specific plants at a comparatively low cost affordable for mid-size farmers. Using drones could help the system monitor large fields. The system is not yet commercially available.