A major goal is to build small sensors (the prototypes are about 2 inches wide, 4 inches long and less than an inch thick) that can do their work entirely underground. The sensors won't need wires or above-ground antennas, so farmers could work right over the top of them. The sensors would also be able to report their locations. That would make it easy to find sensors if a plow were to move them or when batteries need to be replaced.
…The sensors could help researchers understand precisely how water moves through a field. They could help them develop better models to predict crop growth and yield. And they could help them understand the carbon and nitrogen cycles within soils. And those sensors could help farmers manage their nutrient and water resources. That could maximize yields and profits. And it could minimize environmental impacts….Terra rossa soil, apparently shot by Scops, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0 License (cc-by-sa-2.0)