Agriculture: Anyone doing this? What/How/Why?

Hi there,

I wondered if anyone is doing agricultural monitoring.
Especially: What are you monitoring and why?
If yes, what measurements do you take and what hardware do you use?

I’m interested in soil measurements (more than humidity) and would create a small demo showcase for a hackathon. Doesn’t matter if DIY but I’m not sure if there are sensors for arduino/RPi out there.

Thank’s a lot,

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cheap diy solution if you can connect this to a node :thinking:


Hi @chbla, Semtech (own the LoRa technology) are investing, sponsoring and publishing a lot on smart agriculture. Take a look at the following link to see a lot of videos and whitepapers:


Thanks a lot! Sponsoring would be interesting, since it’s a non-profit project (hackathon).
I didn’t see any options though on their page, just a list of third party usecases?

They don’t have hardware themselves, right, besides the plain chips.

Semtech provide the chips, demo/eval platforms and ref designs and associated s/w and collaborate with the the LoRa/LoRaWAN ecosystem, most notably through the LoRa Alliance, , for the modules, gateways and system implementations. If looking for end devices etc. a good starting point if you don’t want to go DIY route (check out, github, adafruit, etc for Lora projects; GIYF) is to look at the TTN market place

Successfully using these probes in a number of areas, testing in UK but deployed in USA for a client. This one is a 60cm probe with 6 sensing regions for soil moisture, temperature and salinity so gets values for different root depths.







I have installed a couple of soil moisture sensors in my garden and built two different
kind of end devices mit ATMega328 and RFM95 (4 channel analog voltage input and 8 channel
analog voltage input). I use the sensors shown below (SMT50 by Truebner) since they are reasonable low cost and fully water proof for long term operation.
The system is just for monitoring soil moisture after experience with severe drought last summer in Germany. I will add valves later and work on a complete controll system.
I do have similar nodes and a weighing scale with HX711 AD converter for monitoring my beehives.



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related info

Looks good @andrewl, I am searching for similar… if I may ask, where did you order them?

Hi @suendermarkus, this sounds similar to the Sensoterra units that I’m using for agri customers on LoRaWAN/TTN.

If you’re looking for the Sentek probe then probably best to locate your country dealer for them. I got mine sent to be by a client for the development.


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Cool, thanks a lot @cultsdotelecomatgmai those look really interesting, too! I asked them for a quote. So I take it you had good experience with those? Are they costing much?

Hi @suendermarkus, my colleague purchased them so I don’t know the exact price but it was not expensive. We like them for a number of reasons:

  • They seem to produce good data for various depths.
  • The only installation tool that you need is a big hammer. This might sound like a joke but works very well with the farming community.
  • The data is presented on their sophisticated dashboard but is also available via an API for integration into other systems.
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Hi, I’m working on something for the argitech, maybe you can contact me for more info.

  • Measuring soil moisture and also other sensors that are special for farmers

I just started my Bonsai growing experiment with The Things Network consisting of Hardware:

  • TheThings Uno
  • Soil moisture sensor SMT50 by Truebner
  • Bonsai seedlings from Banggood
  • Bonsai soil
  • Pot


  • TTN client written in node.js
  • Influx
  • Chronograph

The idea is to improve growing by keeping the soil moisture content at an appropriate level.
I will keep you updated with my growing experiment.


Nice project … I did some experimenting with cheaper probes and those always failed to give good readings after several weeks … And those probes look beter …

DIY page about the probe that i used …

I draw the same conclusion after trying many sensors. The very low cost sensors are not durable and the professional sensors are very expensive. A sweet spot is the SMT50. There is a SMT100 as well widely used for scientific applications (hydrology, agriculture, civil engineering) but too expensive for my low cost irrigation system. A nearby nursery uses the AquaFlex by Truebner in rockwool for tomato growing, strange that they do not use real soil anymore, its more like industrial production.

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We’re tracking temperatures (looking for frost) to protect our cherry trees now in spring.

We monitor the deepest part of the orchard, because the cold air flows downwards. And if temperatures go below zero we start water irrigation and fire big candles until the sun comes up and starts to heat the orchard again. I built a website where we can watch temperatures from the phone through the night. The code of the node you can find here, it still has a problem but is working for the season now. :blush:

If you’re more interested in what my brother is doing on the farm, the Swiss TV was there (Swiss German only) two years ago, where the frost damage was nearly 95% (!).

An image of the irrigation system