Implementing internet of things (IoT) sensor-based precision irrigation with LoRaWAN technology for enhancing yield, quality, and resource use efficiency of soilless basil

Haozhe Zhang, Long He, F. Di Gioia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Internet of things (IoT) sensor-based precision irrigation technologies offer the opportunity to enhance yield, quality, and resource use efficiency of current crop production systems allowing automated, real-time, site-specific, dynamic management of water inputs. A greenhouse study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of an IoT sensor-based irrigation system employing low-cost and easy to implement LoRaWAN (long range wide-area network) technology for the automated irrigation management of 'Italian Genovese' basil grown in a peat and perlite medium soilless system. The IoT sensor-based irrigation system was implemented using soil matrix water potential (MP) sensors set to start irrigation at -15 kPa (MP-15) and -25 kPa (MP-25), and volumetric water content (VWC) sensors set to start irrigation at 20% VWC. The performance of the IoT sensor-based irrigation systems was compared to that of preset timer-based irrigation scheduling in terms of system feasibility, plant growth and physiology, yield, and quality. Regardless the type of sensor and irrigation threshold used, the tested IoT sensor-based irrigation systems ensured a more efficient management of water inputs compared to the timer-based irrigation scheduling. IoT sensor-based irrigation resulted in higher total plant fresh and dry weight and leaf area compared to timer-based irrigation scheduling. The more efficient water management ensured by the IoT sensor-based irrigation systems allowed to preserve better nitrogen resources available in the growing medium compared to the timer-based irrigation scheduling, thereby affecting leaf SPAD index, color, and plant nutrient accumulation at harvest. The present study suggests that LoRaWAN IoT sensor-based precision irrigation system implemented using soil matric water potential and/or water volumetric sensors is an effective solution for the real-time automated management of irrigation or fertigation in medium-based soilless crops and have great potential for enhancing the resource use efficiency and sustainability of current soilless production systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)647-654
Number of pages8
JournalActa Horticulturae
Volume1377
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Horticulture

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