Small Business Innovation Research Program Provides Seed Funding for R&D

Davis CA, June 18, 2017 – FloraPulse Co has been awarded a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant for $100,000 to conduct research and development (R&D) work on an implantable probe for measuring and managing water status in fruit and nut crops.

The kind of data provided by this sensor will allow growers to better understand the effects of water stress and irrigation management on crop performance and product quality. A key initial example is that of the effects of water status on quality wine production. Wine composition, flavors, style and quality are strongly affected by grapevine water status. In arid zones, deficit irrigation is used to improve red wine quality. We know generally what the effects of water stress are but defining precise irrigation is greatly limited by the lack of real-time data.

“The ability to monitor plant water potentials in real-time with microsensors will allow a quantum leap in understanding of plant water relations and responses to the environment” said Alan Lakso, Agricultural advisor for the company. “This will allow much more sophisticated regulation of plant water status.”

To learn more about the USDA SBIR program, visit this link.