Washington Ag-Tech Company Receives Innovation Award

Washington Ag-Tech Company Receives Innovation Award

February 22, 2022

Washington Ag-Tech Company Receives Innovation Award

Soil water potential sensor named Best Innovation in Engineering and Technology

PULLMAN, Wash. (Feb. 22, 2021)— METER Group, Inc, maker of advanced IoT irrigation management products and software, recently released a next-gen water potential sensor (TEROS 21) that was named the winner of the prestigious AE50 award for Best Innovation in Engineering and Technology awarded by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). The TEROS 21 is the only water potential sensor in the world that can measure a full range of soil water potentials from wet to dry.

TEROS 21 water potential sensor (or matric potential sensor)

“Water potential is crucial in understanding water availability to plants, slope stability in soil, and potential for landslides,” said Dr. Colin Campbell, a Senior Research Scientist and the Vice President of Environment at METER Group. According to Campbell, soil water potential is a better indicator of when to water than soil water content. So why don’t more irrigators measure it?

“The instrumentation simply wasn’t there to be able to use it effectively,” said Campbell, “Historically, the sensors were too complex, too fragile, too expensive, or too inaccurate. TEROS 21 changes all that. It’s the first full-range, accurate, long-life, maintenance-free water potential sensor. It takes a critical parameter that was once difficult to measure and makes it easy and affordable.”

AE50 winners include machines, systems, components, software and services ranked highest in innovation, significant engineering advancement and impact on the markets they serve. From the many entries submitted each year, an expert panel of engineers selects approximately 50 products for recognition.

The TEROS 21 measures soil water potential, a measurement that defines the water “comfort range” of plants just as temperature defines the thermal comfort range for humans. Using a soil water potential sensor is like checking a “plant thermostat”, making it easy for growers to know exactly when it’s time to water (or when they’re over- or underwatering). Traditionally there’s been no single instrument capable of measuring the full range of soil water potentials. The Gen 2 version of TEROS 21 now measures all the way from near saturation to air dry—finally making it a true full range water potential sensor.

“The TEROS 21 represents a huge step forward in the advancement of irrigation and water management technology,” said Campbell, “Developing an accurate, easy-to-deploy sensor is vital to improving our ability to measure and manage irrigation, increase quality and yield, and reduce expensive problems that result from overwatering (such as disease and the washing away of nutrients). As a company, we’re pleased and excited to receive this important recognition.”



METER Group delivers real-time, high-resolution data that fuels production and processes for the environmental research, urban, and agriculture sectors. Through the power of its employees, METER combines science, engineering and design expertise to turn physical measurements into useful information.


The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is an educational and scientific organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems. Founded in 1907 and headquartered in St. Joseph, Michigan, ASABE comprises members in more than 100 countries. Learn more at https://www.asabe.org/About-Us

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