Decagon Devices, Inc.

Decagon devices part of US$5m USDA grant


Source: Decagon Devices, Inc.

Decagon Devices, in Pullman, Washington is part of a national team that recently received a 5-year USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture Specialty Crop Research Initiative Grant award of $5,161,495 to investigate precision irrigation and nutrient management for nursery, greenhouse and green roof systems using wireless sensor networks. Decagon Devices, an environmental instrumentation developer and manufacturer based in Pullman, Washington, will develop wireless monitoring and control hardware for the project. The hardware will utilize Decagon’s recently developed sensor to measure moisture content, temperature, and electrical conductivity of soils and soilless substrates.

Dr. John Lea-Cox from the University of Maryland is leading the project.  Other universities and research centers cooperating in this project are Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, the University of Colorado, Cornell University, and the Center for Environmental Science at the University of Maryland. 

This grant, combined with an additional $5,205,172 in matching funding from various sources, will bring together a multidisciplinary group of engineers, plant scientists, economists and extension specialists to develop the next generation of tools to precisely monitor plant water use, allow for better control of irrigation water applications and increase the efficiency of water and nutrient use by ornamental growers.  The research is tightly integrated with sensor networks within a number of commercial nurseries and greenhouse operations throughout the US.  Close cooperation among academics and commercial growers will help move the science quickly from the lab into the working greenhouse.  This project is expected to reduce water and fertilizer use and to decrease the environmental impact of ornamental production. More details of the project goals, the university teams, and the commercial partners can be found at

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