Agriculture sensor types | Sensors used in agriculture and farming

This article covers Agriculture sensors types and their functions. It mentions benefits of Agriculture sensors and manufacturers of sensors used in Agriculture and farming for various operations.

Introduction: The sensors are fundamental components or devices used in various fields and applications. The common applications include agriculture, automotive, healthcare, robotics, consumer electronics, environmental monitoring and many more.

A sensor detects physical, chemical, biological or environmental changes or stimuli and provides output. The input can vary depending on type of sensor and its usage. The output can be electrical signal or any other form such as physical movement, color change or any other measurable change. The output is designed to represent or convey information about the input in a format which can be easily measured, recorded, processed or utilized in various applications. The examples of common sensor inputs are temperature, pressure, light intensity, humidity, motion, gas concentration, proximity, pH levels, magnetic fields etc.

The sensors used in agriculture industries are called agriculture sensors. One such agriculture sensor is soil moisture sensor. It is designed to measure the amount of moisture or water content in the soil. This sensor takes soil moisture level as input and produces electrical signal or data as output.

Why Agriculture sensors are needed ?

Sensors provide valuable data and insights which help farmers make informed decisions and optimize their field operations. Following are some of the reasons why sensors are required in agricultural industries.
• Sensors can detect early signs of plant disease or pest infections by monitoring certain parameters such as leaf temperature, chlorophyll or volatile compounds emitted by plants. This early detection allows farmers to prevent spread of diseases and minimize crop damage.
• Excessive or insufficient use of water during irrigation can lead to crop yield losses and environmental degradation. Soil moisture sensors help farmers determine right amount of water required by plants.
• Sensors can measure nutrient levels in the soil. Monitoring of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium contents help farmers to apply fertilizers as and when needed. This minimizes overuse and reduces risk of nutrient runoff.
• Wearable sensors are used in livestock farming to monitor animal health and behaviour.

Agriculture Drones

Types of Agriculture Sensors

Following are the commonly used Agriculture sensors types for various functions in farming and agricultural usage.
• Soil moisture sensors measure moisture content in the soil which helps farmers to optimize water usage.
• Environmental sensors provide real time weather data on various parameters such as temperature, humidity, wind speed, solar radiation and rainfall. This allows farmers to make informed decisions related to planting, harvesting and disease management.
• Crop Canopy sensors measure amount of light intercepted by crop canopies which helps farmers to determine plant health, to optimize fertilization rates and assess crop biomass.
• Nutrient sensors measure nutrient levels in soil or plant tissue. This information is used to optimize fertilizer application and promote efficient nutrient management.
• Leaf wetness sensors detect presence and duration of leaf surface moisture. These sensors assist in disease management by helping farmers to optimize fungicide applications.
• pH sensors determine acidity or alkalinity of the soil. These sensors help to maintain optimal soil pH levels as certain crops require specific pH levels for proper growth.
• Solar radiation sensors measure intensity of sunlight and solar radiation. These sensors are used to assess energy availability for crops and to understand microclimates.
• CO2 sensors measure carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. These sensors assist in understanding plant photosynthesis rates amd assessing greenhouse environments for optimal growth of the plants.
• Temperature sensors monitor soil and air temperatures. These sensors help to determine frost risks, assess crop/soil health and to optimize planting and harvesting schedules.
• Pesticide residue sensors detect presence of pesticide residues on crops or in soil. These sensors aid in ensuring food safety and to meet compliance against pesticide regulations.
• Livestock monitoring sensors such as activity monitors, rumination sensors and temperature sensors are used to track health, behaviour and well being of livestock.

Agriculture Sensors Manufacturers

Following table mentions few of the manufacturers of Agriculture sensors used for various operations in farming.

Manufacturers or Companies Agriculture sensors
Sentera, Saint Paul, MN 55114 The company develops agriculture drones and sensors. Visit to download buyer's guide.
Trimble Inc. The company develops agriculture solutions. One such product is handheld crop sensor which provides crop health information. Visit for more information.
METER Group Inc. USA and Europe The develops products and solutions for environment monitoring, horticulture and food industires. It develops soil moisture and temperature sensor, weather stations, anemometers, rain gauges etc. Visit for more information.
Pessl Instruments, 8160 Weiz, Austria The company manufactures various kinds of sensors for agricultural applications which include soil temperature sensor, air temperature sensor, wind speed and direction sensor, leaf wetness sensor, water sensor, snow depth sensor, light sensor, barometer etc. Visit for more information.
Davis Instruments The company manufactures agriculture sensors in addition to weather stations, air quality monitors, IP gateway and so on. The sensors include anemometer, soil moisture sensor, solar radiation sensor, temperature/humidity sensor, temperature probe, UV sensor, sonic anemometer, leaf wetness sensor etc. Visit for more information.
Libelium, spain Temperature, humidity and pressure sensor, Leaf Wetness sensor, Soil moisture sensor, Soil temperature sensor, fruit and stem diameter dendrometers and so on. Visit for more information.
Spectrum Technologies Inc. The company develops soil moisture sensor, environmental sensor, light sensor etc. Visit for more information on other products.
Teralytic The company manufactures soil sensors for different depths (6 inches, 12 inches and 18 inches) and gas sensors. Soil sensors measure soil moisture, salinity, nitrate, potassium, phosphorus, soil temperature, pH, respiration and aeration. Gas sensors measure O2 and CO2. Visit for your agricultural requirements.
Acclima Inc. Idaho USA The company develops TDR (Time Domain Reflectometer) soil moisture sensors for water and fertilizer applications and agricultural analysis. Visit for your agriculture sensor requirements.

There are many more manufacturers of agriculture sensors which include Campbell Scientific, Dynamax Inc., Stevens Water Monitoring Systems Inc., IRROMETER etc.

Benefits of Agriculture Sensors

Following are the advantages or benefits of agriculture sensors.
➨The sensors help farmers optimize growing conditions which results into healthier plants and improvement in crop yields.
➨Sensors help in conservation of water and fertilizers.
➨Sensors detect early signs of plant stress, disease and pest infections. This helps minimize crop losses and reduces requirement of excessive pesticide usage.
➨Analysis of large amount of data generated by agriculture sensors help to improve productivity, reduces risks and enhances profitability.

Agriculture sensors are widely available from various manufacturers at affordable rates for different applications in farming. They provide real-time, accurate and detailed information about crops, soil and livestock. This empowers farmers to optimize their operations, conserve resources and increase yields while minimizing environmental impact.

Agriculture sensors, drones, robots

Refer following links on advantages of Agriculture sensors, merits and demerits of smart farming, agriculture drones, agriculture robots and vertical farming.
Advantages and uses of agriculture sensors
Advantages and disadvantages of smart farming
Advantages and disadvantages of agriculture drones
Advantages and disadvantages of agriculture robots
Advantages and disadvantages of vertical farming

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