The Best Inventions of 2021
November 10, 2021 6:11 AM EST

Growing crops in drought-impacted areas means striking a tricky balance between conserving water and ensuring crop yields. Israeli agri­tech company SupPlant has created an AI-enabled sensor, placed in the soil and on the plants themselves, that informs farmers exactly when and how much to water, based on an algorithm that calculates plant needs, soil moisture, climate conditions and weather forecasts. It is currently used by farmers in 14 countries, and tests in Mexico found it reduced water consumption for a mango crop by 15% while increasing yields by 20%, according to company data. —Aryn Baker

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