-/Monika Klick
Institute of Agricultural Technology

Bundesallee 47
38116 Braunschweig
Phone: +49 531 596 4102/ 4103
Fax: +49 531 596 4199

Sensor based irrigation control in potatoes


SeBeK Messaufbau Vorversuch (c) Thünen-Institut
SeBeK Messaufbau Vorversuch (© Thünen-Institut)

Sensor based irrigation control in potatoes

Some 25 percent of the German potato production is located in northeast Lower Saxony and uses intensive field irrigation. Can a new sensor system allow more efficient water use?

Background and Objective

Northeast Lower Saxony uses the most intensive field irrigation in the whole Germany. During decades, farmers, consultants and companies have established a profound knowledge which is used mainly for the production of potatoes and sugar beets. Climate change will make irrigation more important in Germany. Water availability and irrigation will become central global topics in the future. In many parts of the world, plant production is impossible without irrigation. But there is an increasing competition amongst diverse water use demands. This leads to the requirement of new innovative approaches with the aim of a sustainable irrigation.

Our project goal is some insight and experience whether the contactless measurement of the canopy temperature is a suitable base for irrigation decisions, and how the technique can be implemented into agricultural operating procedures.

The research project is the innovation project of the "operational group" Sustainable Irrigation which is funded together with the project and coordinated by the Ostfalia University.

Target Group

The project focusses on the potato production in northeast Lower Saxony. The results will however also be relevant for other crops and vegetables, and for other regions in Germany and worldwide.


The surface temperature of potato canopies and the crop water stress index (CWSI) will be measured in irrigation experiments as well as on real production sites. The measurements will be accompanied by measurements of soil water content, plant growth, relative water content (RWC), leaf water potential (Psi) and the acqusition of colour and thermal images. These data shall help to optimize and to evaluate the CWSI model. The new measurement technique will be integrated and tested in the agricultural operation of a local potato producer.


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen
    (Uelzen, Deutschland)
  • Ostfalia Hochschule für angewandte Wissenschaften
    (Suderburg, Deutschland)
  • Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
    (Göttingen, Deutschland)

Funding Body

  • Bundesland Niedersachsen
    (national, öffentlich)


5.2016 - 12.2019

More Information

Projekt type:
Project funding number: 276 03 158 037 0257
Funding program: EU - European Innovation Partnerships (EIP)
Project status: finished

Funding Body:

Pfeil EU Konform