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D. How Microsensors May Change Farm Life

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, are developing the cutting-edge of agri-business-a technology of networked microchip sensors that can closely monitors farms. David Culler, a professor of computer science and an expert in this technology, explains how wireless microsensors may dramatically change life on the farm.

Culler: That same notion of monitoring, or dense monitoring of space, if you take it out to the farm, that's what agri-business-you can imagine precision agriculture, where you really would like to control how you're watering, how you're fertilizing in response to the actual soil moisture, how it drains, the sun, the wind, that kind of thing.

Narrator: Culler says that by strategically placing microsensors on their farm, growers can get an enhanced picture of the physical changes and activities that occur across space and time.

Culler: If you think about agri-business, there's this whole flow of different kind of input: seeds, fertilizer, soils, water, so forth. You want to know where they are all coming from. How do they then get distributed to the places they are needed? Are the crates where the berries are being picked? How do all the pieces come together at the right time?

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.