Sensor- and AI-based decision support system for optimizing nutrient and water management for field crops


The determination of the optimal time as well as the optimal amount of nutrient and water application for a certain forecast period is one of the primary tasks of agriculture. Knowledge of the water content of the soil plays a special role in this context, for example, in order to determine the necessary performance values for automatic irrigation and fertilization tailored to this. Water-related soil characteristics are not only important for agricultural land, but for all soils that have an influence on the formation of surface runoff or new groundwater.

A thorough understanding of soil processes and mechanisms is needed to improve data identification and evaluation. The soil system as a water reservoir must be comprehensively understood and capable of being mapped in data. This requires, among other things, consideration of the hydrologic cycle in watersheds and how it is linked to plants such as field crops.


Development of a data management and decision support system for the understanding of soil as a water reservoir in order to e.g. get implementation recommendations for the optimal nutrient and water supply of soils in agriculture or for preventive flood protection measures.


The focus of the project is on the consideration of soil as a water reservoir. Conditions for agricultural land as well as for urban areas will be considered.

A decision-making system will be developed that accesses radar data on current precipitation, precipitation forecasts, and key soil characteristics. The analysis will be performed using AI algorithms.

A multi-stage implementation model will be developed to reflect the consolidated target parameters:

  • The relationship between soil water balance and soil moisture
  • Water holding and water release behavior of different soils
  • Transfer of nutrients/hazardous substances to the aquatic environment (groundwater, receiving waters)
tasks SoilRadar

project partners

Logo HST
Logo iwe
Logo TU Berlin
TI Consult Logo


Logo federal ministry of economic affairs and climate action
Logo of Central innovation program for small and medium-sized enterprises

The ZIM SoilRadar project is funded by the “Central Innovation Mittelstand” (ZIM for short) funding program of the German Federal Ministry for Economi Affairs and Climate Action.

Project duration: 02/2022 – 01/2024

Funding amount: 110.000,- €