Sensing Methodologies in Agriculture for Soil Moisture and Nutrient Monitoring

Development and deployment of sensing technologies is one of the main steps in achieving sustainability in crop production through precision agriculture. Key sensing methodologies developed for monitoring soil moisture and nutrients with recent advances in the sensing devices reported in literature using those techniques are overviewed in this article. The soil moisture determination has been divided into four main sections describing soil moisture measurement metrics and laboratory-based testing, followed by in-situ, remote and proximal sensing techniques. The application, advantages and limitations for each of the mentioned technologies are discussed. The nutrient monitoring methods are reviewed beginning with laboratory-based methods, ion-selective membrane based sensors, bio-sensors, spectroscopy-based methods, and capillary electrophoresis-based systems for inorganic ion detection. Attention has been given to the core principle of detection while reporting recent sensors developed using the mentioned concepts. The latest works reported on the different sensing methodologies point towards the trend of developing low-cost, easy to use, field-deployable or portable sensing systems aimed towards improving technology adoption in crop production leading to efficient site-specific soil and crop management which in turn will bring us closer to reaching sustainability in the practice of agriculture.

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