Soil is important natural resource which has been disregarded in the past leading to adverse results. To help efficiently manage irrigation systems, it is imperative for farmers to measure soil moisture. This helps farmers to use lesser water for growing a crop, hence increasing the quality and yield of the crop by improving the management of soil moisture during plant growth. Soil moisture sensors are the device used by gardeners to measure the water content (volumetric) in soil. Direct gravimetric measure of the moisture in soil requires drying, removing and weighting of soil sample.
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However soil moisture sensors measure the volumetric moisture content in soil using properties of the soil like electrical resistance, interaction with neutrons and dielectric constant. Soil moisture and measured property relation must be calibrated. The relation may vary due to environmental factors like soil type, electric conductivity or temperature. Soil moisture sensors are easy to use. The rainfall pattern, crop evapotranspiration rate, and soil type determine the amount and type of irrigation needed in the region to produce high yield. Due to unpredictable weather conditions it is difficult to maintain consistent crop irrigation. Excess irrigation leads to increase in cost of production which further leads to runoff, waterlogging and soil nutrients leaching which reduces yield. Hence measuring moisture content helps growers reduce negatives effects on environment.
Rise in adoption of modern agriculture techniques is the major driver for soil moisture sensor market. Increasing use of soil moisture sensors in residential complexes to maintain green lawns has led to the growth in soil moisture sensors market. Another major driver is the increasing use of scientific soil and crop analysis. Increasing demand to reduce the usage of critical water sources is also one of the major drivers of the soil moisture sensors market.
Gradual shift in environmental regulations, climatic conditions and improved productivity are also the factors leading to the growth of the soil moisture sensors market. Some of the factors that are inhibiting the growth of the market are spatial reliability and variability. Another major challenge which has to be addressed is the lack of awareness about soil moisture sensors among farmers and gardeners. However advanced farming techniques, government incentives, and average selling price decline will generate opportunities for the market.
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Soil moisture sensors market can be segmented based on type (water potential & volumetric), Application (residential, agriculture, landscaping, weather forecasting, sports turf, forestry, construction, & research Studies), & geography. Volumetric soil moistures sensors are categorized into TDT, Probe and Capacitance. Soil water potential sensors are categorized into gypsum block, tensiometer, and granular matrix. Increasing demand to manage golf turfs will lead to the growth of sports turf application.
Main factor in sports turf maintenance is management of water content as it affects performance in terms of ball bounce and roll along with the grass growth, organic matter breakdown, and nutrient ability to move into the roots. Soil moisture sensors market is dominated by agriculture application. The reason for this major trend is the ability to monitor moisture content in soil in different fields and hence save water resources which are critical to avoid over irrigation.