Skip to main content
ARS Home » Midwest Area » Wooster, Ohio » Application Technology Research » Research » Research Project #445992

Research Project: Modeling Container Substrate Temperature to Predict Controlled Release Fertilizer Release and Crop Root Health

Location: Application Technology Research

Project Number: 5082-21000-001-095-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 15, 2024
End Date: Mar 14, 2025

To measure, model, and confirm container substrate temperature using the simplest feasible instrumentation array. Prediction of substrate temperature can calibrate controlled release fertilizer release rate and longevity. Substrate temperature will inform producers of crop root health so cultural practices such as pot color, shading, and irrigation scheduling can be implemented to prevent harmful stress.

A sensor array will be placed on an open air container production pad covered in gravel or black geotextile at the Application Technology Research unit. Each pad will consist of a 5 x 5 square of Hydrangea paniculata potted in #2 gal black containers. Every 15-min, substrate temperature of each container, canopy coverage, long- and short-wave radiation, surface temperature, wind speed, air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation, and solar radiation are recorded. All data will be stored by a datalogger with telemetry, in which data becomes available to the cooperator in real-time. Machine learning will be employed to analyze data and identify relevant sensors for substrate temperature prediction. A model will be created and validated.