The holy grail of precision irrigation today is Stem Water Potential (SWP) – a scientifically recognized, highly accurate parameter for determining water status in crops. SWP accurately indicates the stress level of trees. It is the least spatially variable feature in an orchard or vineyard because the trunk integrates the water status of the plant from the soil and up to the atmosphere. Saturas’s patented sensor, the StemSense, is the first commercially, cost effective technology to directly measure Stem Water Potential (SWP). Embedded into the tree’s trunk and connected to the vascular tissue, our sensor provides one specific value that is all you need to know in order to optimize your irrigation.
Today, due to the lack of direct and reliable measurement, farmers typically overwater crops by up to 20% “just to be on the safe side.” Overwatering puts pressure on an already scarce and expensive resource, increases pollution from nutrient-rich runoff, affects the quality of the fruit, and reduces profitability.
Stem water potential (SWP) is a scientifically recognized, highly accurate parameter for determining water status in crops. Today, SWP can only be measured manually, using a labor-intensive procedure. Despite numerous approaches to sensor-based irrigation, including measuring soil and leaf moisture, the market lacks a solution that combines accuracy, ease of use, and affordability.
Current solutions are the labor-intensive pressure chamber or costly electronic sensors that measure soil water and stem constriction. They require high maintenance (especially for calibration), have high variance, and lack accuracy. Saturas’ highly accurate sensors are the only ones to offer automatic SWP measurement combined with ease of use and at a significantly lower cost than products currently on the market.