Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Saving Precious Water Resources

NIFA is investing in research that enhances food production, processing, and distribution that benefits consumers and rural communities. Water conservation is a critical, global issue for human use and agricultural production - approximately 80 percent of the consumptive use of water is in agricultural food production. A team of Cornell University researchers improved the efficiency of irrigation by measuring how much water stress can be tolerated without adversely affecting crop yield or quality. They did this by developing a water sensor that is inserted into plants to continuously measure water levels within the plant. These low-cost chips efficiently provide real-time, sensitive water measurements that inform growers on irrigation management. With the sensor, farmers are able to adjust their irrigation schedules to various weather anomalies that affect water transpiration in plants. As a result, farmers may be able to reduce their water-use footprint and increase profits by saving money on their water bills.

NIFA originally published this impact in the NIFA 2016 Annual Report. Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

Farm Bill Priority Areas
Agriculture systems and technology
U.S. States and Territories
New York
Website Survey CTA Image Desktop

Your feedback is important to us.