The article that I found is called "Company Expands ARS Technology to Save Water, Energy" and I found it on www.ars.usda.gov. This article talks about how the company Smartfield.Inc found a way to save water and energy by adding three instruments together. The system is called SmartCropTM and it is composed of SmartPump to figure out the pressure in subsurface drip systems, SmartWeather to detect the wind speed and sunshine and RainAlert to anticipate rain.
The system uses pole-mounted infrared thermometers to read leaf and air temperature, which are transmited to a computer wirelessly every 10 seconds. In case the temperature goes above the set limit the computer sends a text message saying that it is neccesary to turn on the irrigation system. Every plant grows the best at different temperatures and needs different amounts of water. SmartCropTM allows us to get the best out of every plant by figuring out when the plant produces the most. At the same time producers save water and energy because they already know the exact amounts of water and the exact temperature that the plants needs. SmartCropTM was used in Texas in 2008, and it saved about 7 millions gallons of water and $4000 of energy in a year. The amount of water saved is equal to the consumption of 44 homes in a year.
In my opinion SmartCropTM is one of the most important modern inovations in the irrigation system. I think that very soon SmartCropTm is going to be used all over the world because it could save a lots of water and energy and also increase the productivity of the plant. My only concern is that the article didn't say how expensive the system is, so it is hard to tell how profitable SmartCropTm is for a farmer.