Station vineyards near Napa, California, Are testing new cheap soil sensors that use telemetry technology to provide information about soil moisture in a more precise way than existing technologies.Post station grape cultivation teacher Jason Cole showed the new crossbows "Eko" sensor being tested in the vineyard on August.15, 2008 caravan vineyards near Napa, California, Are testing new cheap soil sensors that use telemetry technology to provide information about soil moisture in a more precise way than existing technologies.Post station grape cultivation teacher Jason Cole showed the new crossbows "Eko" sensor being tested in the vineyard on August.15, Class 2008 a row of cabernet sauvignon grapes planted on the rolling hillside, grape cultivation scientist Jason Kohl gave an eloquent description of terroir's elusive concept of the term used by French farmers to describe the je ne sais offer of crops harvested in any particular region."Grapes, chocolate, coffee, these are very good at soaking the environment, spit them in the fruit," Cole said ." He is responsible for managing the grooming and care of over 500 acres of vines grown in Stagecoach vineyards in Napa County.Vineyard is a test platform for a new wireless sensing technology that can measure statistical pulses of soil humidity, wind speed, temperature and humidity to measure the micro-climate of vineyards, to help determine the frequency and quantity of irrigation.The system tested at the post station was developed by privately held Crossbow Technology, 90-San Jose has created inertial navigation sensors for the aviation industry and has studied the use of wireless sensor networks for the federal Defense Advanced Research Project Bureau.Other manufacturers of micro-climate sensing systems include the Austrian company Adcon Telemetry, as well as Novato's ranch System and St. Ramon's grape network.The sensors used by Cole at the Stagecoach vineyard represent the performance of a wider phenomenon called precision agriculture --Try to customize the planting of large areas of land so that the smallest part of the farm can get special but automated attention.In the Midwest, for example, precision agriculture, with its yellow grain wave, is synonymous with large tractors equipped with GPS to keep the line straight.But in California, the land of fruit, nuts and other specialty crops, precision agriculture has been reflected in Cole's efforts to calculate terroir using wireless sensors and other technologies."The way growers have decided over the years whether or not to water is the way they have stuck their thumbs on the ground," said Robert Robinson, vice president of Crossbow wireless sensor division .".Crossbow released its basic field equipment earlier this year for $3,359, consisting of three sensing nodes, these sensing nodes feed the data collected on site through an electronic gateway to a Web page that can basically be viewed from any InternetThe connected device.The basic configuration can change 4-Land Acres in hills and diverse terrain such as Napa and 20 acres in flat, even central valleys.The additional kit can extend the sensing network wirelessly and indefinitely on hill and dale.Cole knelt next to the vine at the Stagecoach vineyard, explaining how the system explained in addition to the temperature and humidity measurements aboveGround sensors, deep the virtual thumb into the soil in the form of two moisture sensors, one with a depth of 1 feet and the other with a depth of 3 feet."The key is to monitor what these roots are going through," Cole said ."."Watering the grapes is one of the most important factors affecting the quality of the wine.To condense the taste into smaller berries, you would like to highlight the vines.Professor Stu Pettigrove of the University of California at Davis is a soil expert who tracks California's precision agriculture, he saidThe sensitivity of wine grapes, coupled with their high value relative to other agricultural products, makes them ideal for this high valuetech approach.But how many other crops in California fit this description?Pistachio is the only example provided by Pettygrove.He said water-Just the right little gas helps to explode the shell, pistachio is easy to eat.Professor Michael Delwiche, chair of biological and cultural engineering at the University of California, Davis, has tried wireless sensing systems that accurately apply waterSometimes mixing with fertilizer in a process called irrigation fertilization --Plant a crop like a peachHowever, he said there has been no cost-effective production of orchards so far.Wireless sensing systems and precise watering may find a home in commercial nurseries and flowers, Delwiche saidThe planting of greenhouse, the power here is not only economic --Measured by greater crop valueLike regulation."They are being regulated by the environment and do not get runoff from the nursery," Delwiche said .".Ultimately, manufacturers will try to improve performance and reduce costs to encourage the wider adoption of wireless sensing systems, he said.At the same time, the technology is still economical in the niche market.Or a particularly dry place."In Israel, water is very precious, they have the technical infrastructure, and they do a lot of work in this area," Delwiche said .".But in the Stagecoach vineyard, the cost of wireless sensing technology is not an obstacle to the pursuit of quality, where prestige is at the heart of the business plan."We are trying to catch terroir, but you will always catch it and you will never have it," Cole said .".