Soil is for the farmer what the pulse is for the doctor. It helps them make decisions about when to irrigate, when and what to sow, use nutrients, and so on. While some farmers have indigenous knowledge of detecting soil moisture and health, such knowledge is confined to only a few. Taking farming decisions on the basis of soil moisture and health has become even more difficult in the age of climate change.
What it does
Our aims to create a device which would help our farmers and agronomist to have real-time and round the clock analysis of nutrient (Macronutrient i.e. Nitrogen(N), Phosphorous(P), Potassium(K)) composition and some parameters such as soil pH, Temperature, Conductivity, and Moisture status in the soil with an apt suggestion about the crop that the soil is best suited for. And, also analyze the ambient temperature and humidity for better health of crops.
How I built it
A self-designed sensor to detect the amount of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K) in soil. The system utilizes an Arduino microcontroller for data acquisition therefore the output from the transducer is converted into a digital display reading. Testing on various samples of soils showed that the optical transducer can evaluate the amounts of NPK soil content as High, Medium, and Low.
Microclimate (Ambient temperature and humidity) is measured by DHT11. The soil moisture, conductivity & soil pH is measured with the help of the conducting probes sensor and soil temperature determine by the Ds18b20 sensor. This will be done by Node MCU (I.e., IoT). Also, data display over LCD as well as on mobile applications.
Challenges I ran into
Limited Hardware, unavailability of labs for testing, paid video editors, etc
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
Working, portable device with real-time data functioning backend servers for data management easy to use app which can present real-time data to the user over the app and webpage.
And whole hardware setup cost around 54 USD including all taxes (and which is useful in many ways)
What I learned
Learned a lot about that without having an IoT device, how to store data over a server and also, about the new sensors. Moreover, built a more functioning mobile app.
What's next for Soil Health Monitoring System
We are planning to add more parameters to soil health cards such as Conductivity and Weather Prediction which helps farmers to maximize production. "Our vision is to create easily accessible and affordable smart Agritech solutions for specialized agriculture".