Sensor technology, which benefits from high temporal measuring resolution, real-time data transfer and high spatial resolution of sensor data that shows in-field variations, has the potential to provide added value for crop production. The present paper explores how sensors and sensor networks have been utilised in the crop production process and what their added-value and the main bottlenecks are from the perspective of users.
The focus is on sensor based applications and on requirements that users pose for them. Literature and two use cases were reviewed and applications were classified according to the crop production process: sensing of growth conditions, fertilising, irrigation, plant protection, harvesting and fleet control. The potential of sensor technology was widely acknowledged along the crop production chain. Users of the sensors require easy-to-use and reliable applications that are actionable in crop production at reasonable costs. The challenges are to develop sensor technology, data interoperability and management tools as well as data and measurement services in a way that requirements can be met, and potential benefits and added value can be realized in the farms in terms of higher yields, improved quality of yields, decreased input costs and production risks, and less work time and load.